Transient Loss of Microtubule-Associated Protein 2 Immunoreactivity after Moderate Brain Injury in Mice

Jimmy W. Huh, Ramesh Raghupathi, Helmut L. Laurer, Mark A. Helfaer, Kathryn E. Saatman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) is important for microtubule stability and neural plasticity and appears to be among the most vulnerable of the cytoskeletal proteins under conditions of neuronal injury. To evaluate the acute effects of moderate severity traumatic brain injury on MAP2, anesthetized, adult male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to controlled cortical impact brain injury. At 5 min, 15 min, 90 min, 4 h, and 24 h following brain injury (n = 4 injured and n = 1 sham-injured per time point), mice were sacrificed and immunohistochemistry was performed on coronal brain sections. Profound decreases in MAP2 immunolabeling were observed in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampal dentate hilus at 5 min postinjury and in the ipsilateral hippocampal CA3 area by 4 h postinjury. Decreases in MAP2 labeling occurred prior to notable neuronal cell loss. Interestingly, cortical MAP2 immunoreactivity returned by 90 min postinjury, but the recovery was short-lived within the core in comparison to the periphery of the impact site. Partial restoration of MAP2 immunoreactivity was also observed in the ipsilateral CA3 and dentate hilus by 24 h postinjury. Our data corroborate that MAP2 is an early and sensitive marker for neuronal damage following traumatic brain injury. Acute MAP2 loss, however, may not necessarily presage neuronal death, even following moderate severity traumatic brain injury. Rather, to the best of our knowledge, our data are the first to suggest an intrinsic ability of the traumatized brain for MAP2 recovery after injury of moderate severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-984
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Head injury
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microtubule- associated protein 2 (MAP2)
  • Plasticity
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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