Lack of a gender difference in post-traumatic neurodegeneration in the mouse controlled cortical impact injury model

Edward D. Hall, Tonya R. Gibson, Kristina M. Pavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Recent studies using a mouse model of weight-drop-induced "diffuse" traumatic brain injury (TBI) have demonstrated a substantial gender difference in the time course and magnitude of post-traumatic neurodegeneration following a severe level of injury. The time of maximal damage, as assessed by the de Olmos aminocupric silver staining method, occurred at 72 h in male mice, whereas the peak of neurodegeneration was not observed until 14 days in females and was less in magnitude compared to males. This difference, favoring females, has been postulated to relate to the neuroprotective actions of estrogen and progesterone. In the presently reported experiments, we compared the time course and peak of neurodegeneration in male and female mice after a severe level of "focal" controlled cortical impact (CCI; 1 mm, 3.5 m/sec) TBI using the same strain (CF-1) and weight (29-31 g) as employed in the "diffuse" TBI study. The volume of silver staining was measured using image analysis methods at 24, 48, and 72 h, and 1, 2 and 4 weeks. In male and female mice, a significant increase in neurodegeneration was observed at 24 h, and the volume was not significantly different between the two genders. In both gender groups, the maximal neurodegeneration was seen at 48 h after injury. Although the female mice exhibited a trend toward higher mean volumes of silver staining, this difference was not significantly different compared to males. Furthermore, the rate of resolution of staining between 48 h and 4 weeks was similar. However, injured females still exhibited a significantly higher volume of staining compared to sham, non-injured females at 4 weeks, whereas the difference in staining volume between sham and injured males was no longer significant at that time point. These results show that, following a "focal" CCI, there is no gender difference that favors females, in contrast to that seen with the "diffuse" injury paradigm. The disparity between the effects of gender in the two models may be due to the fact that, in the "focal" CCI model, the timing of post-traumatic neurodegeneration is significantly more rapid than that seen in the "diffuse" model, which may overwhelm the neuroprotective effects of estrogen and progesterone and obscure the appearance of a gender difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-679
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Controlled cortical impact
  • Gender
  • Mouse
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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