Concussion: Examining the Effect of Neuronal Oxidative Stress on the Pathophysiology of Brain and Blood Brain Barrier Cells


Neuronal stretching during concussion alters glucose transport and reduces neuronal viability, also affecting other cells in the brain and the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). Our hypothesis is that oxidative stress (OS) generated in neurons during concussions contributes to this outcome. To validate this, we investigated: (1) whether OS independently causes alterations in brain and BBB cells, namely human neuron-like, neuroblastoma cells (NCs), astrocyte cells (ACs) and brain microvascular endothelial cells (ECs), and (2) whether OS originated in NCs (as in concussion) is responsible for causing the subsequent alterations observed in ACs and ECs. We used H2O2 treatment to mimic OS, validated by examining the resulting reactive oxygen species, and evaluated alterations in cell morphology, expression and localization of the glucose transporter GLUT1, and the overall cell viability. Our results showed that OS, either directly affecting each cell type or originally affecting NCs, caused changes in several morphological parameters (surface area, Feret diameter, circularity, inter-cellular distance), slightly varied GLUT1 expression and lowered the overall cell viability of all NCs, ACs, and ECs. Therefore, we can conclude that oxidative stress, which is known to be generated during concussion, caused alterations in NCs, ACs, and ECs whether independently originated in each cell or when originated in the NCs and could further propagate the ACs and ECs.