JAK/STAT pathway regulation of GABAA receptor expression after differing severities of experimental TBI

Daniel J. Raible, Lauren C. Frey, Yasmin Cruz Del Angel, Jessica Carlsen, Dana Hund, Shelley J. Russek, Bret Smith, Amy R. Brooks-Kayal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Synaptic inhibition in the adult brain is primarily mediated by the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor (GABAAR). The distribution, properties, and dynamics of these receptors are largely determined by their subunit composition. Alteration of subunit composition after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may result in abnormal increased synaptic firing and possibly contribute to injury-related pathology. Several studies have shown that the Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway can alter GABAAR subunit expression. The present study investigated changes in JAK/STAT pathway activation after two different severities of experimental TBI in the mouse using the controlled cortical impact (CCI) model. It also investigated whether modulating the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway after severe controlled cortical impact (CCI-S) with a JAK/STAT inhibitor (WP1066) alters post-traumatic epilepsy development and/or neurological recovery after injury. Our results demonstrated differential changes in both the activation of STAT3 and the expression of the GABAAR α1 and γ2 subunit levels that were dependent on the severity of the injury. The change in the GABAAR α1 subunit levels appeared to be at least partly transcriptionally mediated. We were able to selectively reverse the decrease in GABAAR α1 protein levels with WP1066 treatment after CCI injury. WP1066 treatment also improved the degree of recovery of vestibular motor function after injury. These findings suggest that the magnitude of JAK/STAT pathway activation and GABAAR α1 subunit level decrease is dependent on injury severity in this mouse model of TBI. In addition, reducing JAK/STAT pathway activation after severe experimental TBI reverses the decrease in the GABAAR α1 protein levels and improves vestibular motor recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-456
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The funding for this research was provided by the Department of Defense award number W81XWH-11-1-0501 (to ABK, LCF & BNS), NIH/NCRR Colorado CTSI Grant Number TL1 RR025778 (to DJR), and National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke award number R01NS051710 (to ABK and SJR). Contents are the authors' sole responsibility and do not necessarily represent official DOD or NIH views.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • GABA receptor
  • JAK/STAT pathway
  • STAT3
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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