Differential leukocyte and platelet profiles in distinct models of traumatic brain injury

William Brad Hubbard, Meenakshi Banerjee, Hemendra Vekaria, Kanakanagavalli Shravani Prakhya, Smita Joshi, Qingjun Wang, Kathryn E. Saatman, Sidney W. Whiteheart, Patrick G. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects over 3 million individuals every year in the U.S. There is growing appreciation that TBI can produce systemic modifications, which are in part propagated through blood–brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction and blood–brain cell interactions. As such, platelets and leukocytes contribute to mechanisms of thromboinflammation after TBI. While these mechanisms have been investigated in experimental models of contusion brain injury, less is known regarding acute alterations following mild closed head injury. To investigate the role of platelet dynamics and bioenergetics after TBI, we employed two distinct, well-established models of TBI in mice: the controlled cortical impact (CCI) model of contusion brain injury and the closed head injury (CHI) model of mild diffuse brain injury. Hematology parameters, platelet-neutrophil aggregation, and platelet respirometry were assessed acutely after injury. CCI resulted in an early drop in blood leukocyte counts, while CHI increased blood leukocyte counts early after injury. Platelet-neutrophil aggregation was altered acutely after CCI compared to sham. Furthermore, platelet bioenergetic coupling efficiency was transiently reduced at 6 h and increased at 24 h post-CCI. After CHI, oxidative phosphorylation in intact platelets was reduced at 6 h and increased at 24 h compared to sham. Taken together, these data demonstrate that brain trauma initiates alterations in platelet-leukocyte dynamics and platelet metabolism, which may be time-and injury-dependent, providing evidence that platelets carry a peripheral signature of brain injury. The unique trend of platelet bioenergetics after two distinct types of TBI suggests the potential for utilization in prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number500
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bioenergetics
  • Controlled cortical impact
  • Mild TBI
  • Neutrophil
  • Platelet-neutrophil aggregate
  • Respirometry
  • Seahorse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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