Changes in TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1 pathways in hippocampal mossy fiber organization after traumatic brain injury

Bingren Hu, Chunli Liu, Helen Bramlett, Thomas J. Sick, Ofelia F. Alonso, Shaoyi Chen, W. Dalton Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to mossy fiber reorganization, which is considered to be a causative factor in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Emerging evidence suggests that TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1 pathways are highly related to synaptic plasticity. This study used the rat fluid-percussion injury model to investigate activation of TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1 signaling pathways after TBI. Rats were subjected to 2.0-atm parasagittal TBI followed by 30 minutes, 4 hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours of recovery. After TBI, striking activation of TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1 signaling pathways in mossy fiber organization were observed with confocal microscopy and Western blot analysis, ERK1/2 was highly phosphorylated predominantly in hippocampal mossy fibers, whereas TrkB was phosphorylaled both in the mossy fibers and the dentate gyrus region at 30 minutes and 4 hours of recovery after TBI. CREB was also activated at 30 minutes, peaked at 24 hours of recovery, and returned to the control level at 72 hours of recovery in dentate gyrus granule cells. Elk-1 phosphorylation was seen in CA3 neurons at 4 hours after TBI. The results suggest that the signaling pathways of TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1 are highly activated in mossy fiber organization, which may contribute to mossy fiber reorganization seen after TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-943
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Hippocampus-TrkB-ERK1/2-CREB/Elk-1
  • Mossy fiber
  • Seizure and epilepsy
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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