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Location and Level of Etk Expression in Neurons Are Associated with Varied Severity of Traumatic Brain Injury
Published: Monday, June 18, 2012
Author: John Chung-Che Wu et al.

by John Chung-Che Wu, Kai-Yun Chen, Yu-Wen Yu, Song-Wei Huang, Hsiu-Ming Shih, Wen-Ta Chiu, Yung-Hsiao Chiang, Chia-Yang Shiau


Much recent research effort in traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been devoted to the discovery of a reliable biomarker correlating with severity of injury. Currently, no consensus has been reached regarding a representative marker for traumatic brain injury. In this study, we explored the potential of epithelial/endothelial tyrosine kinase (Etk) as a novel marker for TBI.

Methodology/Principal Findings

TBI was induced in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats by controlled cortical impact. Brain tissue samples were analyzed by Western blot, Q-PCR, and immunofluorescence staining using various markers including glial fibrillary acidic protein, and epithelial/endothelial tyrosine kinase (Etk). Results show increased Etk expression with increased number and severity of impacts. Expression increased 2.36 to 7-fold relative to trauma severity. Significant upregulation of Etk appeared at 1 hour after injury. The expression level of Etk was inversely correlated with distance from injury site. Etk and trauma/inflammation related markers increased post-TBI, while other tyrosine kinases did not.


The observed correlation between Etk level and the number of impacts, the severity of impact, and the time course after impact, as well as its inverse correlation with distance away from injury site, support the potential of Etk as a possible indicator of trauma severity.