Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in mice subjected to sepsis revealed early axonal swelling or injury and these changes progressed to cytotoxic edema. The sulfonylurea receptor1 (Sur1)-transient receptor potential melastatin-4 (Trpm4) ion channel plays a vital role in mediating the development of cytotoxic and vasogenic edema after traumatic brain injury. In this newly funded study, Dr. Raj Aneja will lead a team of investigators to determine if sepsis-mediated toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) activation upregulates the Sur1-Trpm4 channel leading to sepsis-induced brain edema and axonal swelling.
Dr. Kochanek, Safar Center director stated that “Survivors of severe sepsis demonstrate functional limitations and acquire new disabilities after hospital discharge. For example, nearly 20,000 new cases per year of moderate to severe cognitive impairment in the elderly may be attributable to sepsis. This project reflects an exciting and perfect collaboration between Dr. Aneja and Dr. Ruchira Jha at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, and seeks to understand the mechanisms that lead to sepsis-associated brain injury.”