Thioredoxin-mimetic-peptides protect cognitive function after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)

Renana Baratz-Goldstein, Hanna Deselms, Leore Raphael Heim, Lena Khomski, Barry J. Hoffer, Daphne Atlas, Chaim G. Pick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is recognized as a common injury among children, sportsmen, and elderly population. mTBI lacks visible objective structural brain damage but patients frequently suffer from long-lasting cognitive, behavioral and emotional difficulties associated with biochemical and cellular changes. Currently there is no effective treatment for patients with mTBI. The thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin pathway (TrxR/Trx1) has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. If the system is compromised, Trx1 remains oxidized and triggers cell death via an ASK1-Trx1 signal transduction mechanism. We previously showed tri and tetra peptides which were derived from the canonical -CxxC- motif of the Trx1-active site, called thioredoxin mimetic (TXM) peptides, reversed inflammatory and oxidative stress damage mimicking Trx1 activity. Here, TXM-peptides were examined for protecting cognitive function following weight drop closed-head injury in a mouse model of mTBI. TXM-CB3 (AcCys-Pro-CysNH2 ), TXM-CB13 (DY-70; AcCys-Met-Lys-CysNH2 )or AD4 (ACysNH2 ) were administered at 50 mg/kg, 60 min after injury and cognitive performance was monitored by the novel-object-recognition and Y-maze tests. Behavioral deficits subsequent to mTBI injury were reversed by a single dose of TXM-CB3, TXM-CB13 and, to a lesser extent, by AD4. TXM-CB13 similar to TXM-CB3 and AD4 reversed oxidative stress-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated kinases, p38MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, (JNK) in human neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. We conclude that significantly improved cognitive behavior post mTBI by the TXM-peptides could result from anti-apoptotic, and/or anti-inflammatory activities. Future preclinical studies are required to establish the TXM-peptides as potential therapeutic drugs for brain injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157064
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


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