Cellular mechanisms and behavioral outcomes in blast- induced neurotrauma: Comparing experimental setups

Zachary S. Bailey, W. Brad Hubbard, Pamela J. VandeVord

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Blast-induced neurotrauma (BINT) has increased in incidence over the past decades and can result in cognitive issues that have debilitating consequences. The exact primary and secondary mechanisms of injury have not been elucidated and appearance of cellular injury can vary based on many factors, such as blast overpressure magnitude and duration. Many methodologies to study blast neurotrauma have been employed, ranging from open-field explosives to experimental shock tubes for producing free-field blast waves. While there are benefits to the various methods, certain specifications need to be accounted for in order to properly examine BINT. Primary cell injury mechanisms, occurring as a direct result of the blast wave, have been identified in several studies and include cerebral vascular damage, blood–brain barrier disruption, axonal injury, and cytoskeletal damage. Secondary cell injury mechanisms, triggered subsequent to the initial insult, result in the activation of several molecular cascades and can include, but are not limited to, neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. The collective result of these secondary injuries can lead to functional deficits. Behavioral measures examining motor function, anxiety traits, and cognition/memory problems have been utilized to determine the level of injury severity. While cellular injury mechanisms have been identified following blast exposure, the various experimental models present both concurrent and conflicting results. Furthermore, the temporal response and progression of pathology after blast exposure have yet to be detailed and remain unclear due to limited resemblance of methodologies. This chapter summarizes the current state of blast neuropathology and emphasizes the need for a standardized preclinical model of blast neurotrauma.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016.


  • Blast
  • In vivo
  • Methodology
  • Neuropathology
  • Neurotrauma
  • Preclinical models
  • Shock tube
  • Shock wave
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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