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Expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 following traumatic brain injury in the human brain

He, Yuxina,*; Yan, Huiyingb,*; Ni, Hongbina; Liang, Weibangb; Jin, Weia

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001205
CELLULAR, MOLECULAR AND DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE
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Secondary brain injury imposes great effects on the prognosis of patients following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Accumulating evidence suggests that nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) could play a neuroprotective role in experimental TBI models by regulating the expression of numerous antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective proteins. However, whether Nrf2 is activated in patients following TBI is still unknown. In this study, human brain tissues were obtained during surgery from patients suffering from TBI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of Nrf2 and Nrf2-regulated gene products, NAD(P)H quinine oxidoreductase 1, and glutathione S-transferase in human injured brain tissue after TBI. Our results revealed that the nuclear level of Nrf2 was significantly increased in injured brain tissues, whereas the cytoplasmic level of Nrf2 was markedly decreased. In addition, the expression of NAD(P)H quinine oxidoreductase 1 and glutathione S-transferase was significantly upregulated. Nrf2 may be activated and confer neuroprotection against secondary brain injury following TBI. Therefore, Nrf2 could serve as a promising molecular target for the treatment of TBI.

aDepartment of Neurosurgery, Drum Tower Clinical Medical College, Nanjing Medical University

bDepartment of Neurosurgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China

* Yuxin He and Huiying Yan contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Correspondence to Hongbin Ni, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 321 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China Tel/fax: +86 025 681 82222; e-mail: glyy110@163.comor

Correspondence to Wei Jin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 321 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China Tel/fax: +86 025 681 82222; e-mail: njneurosurgery@163.com

Received December 14, 2018

Accepted January 18, 2019

© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins