Neonatal brain injury and genetic causes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disease in mice interact with effects on acute and late outcomes

Lee J. Martin, Margaret Wong, Allison Hanaford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neonatal brain damage and age-related neurodegenerative disease share many common mechanisms of injury involving mitochondriopathy, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal cell death. We hypothesized that genes causing adult-onset neurodegeneration can influence acute outcome after CNS injury at immaturity and on the subsequent development of chronic disability after early-life brain injury. In two different transgenic (Tg) mouse models of adult-onset neurodegenerative disease, a human A53T-α-synuclein (hαSyn) model of Parkinson's disease (PD) and a human G93A-superoxide dismutase-1(hSOD1) model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mortality and survivor morbidity were significantly greater than non-Tg mice and a Tg mouse model of Alzheimer's disease after neonatal traumatic brain injury (TBI). Acutely after brain injury, hαSyn neonatal mice showed a marked enhancement of protein oxidative damage in forebrain, brain regional mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, and mitochondriopathy. Extreme protein oxidative damage was also observed in neonatal mutant SOD1 mice after TBI. At 1 month of age, neuropathology in forebrain, midbrain, and brainstem of hαSyn mice with neonatal TBI was greater compared to sham hαSyn mice. Surviving hαSyn mice with TBI showed increased hαSyn aggregation and nitration and developed adult-onset disease months sooner and died earlier than non-injured hαSyn mice. Surviving hSOD1 mice with TBI also developed adult-onset disease and died sooner than non-injured hSOD1 mice. We conclude that mutant genes causing PD and ALS in humans have significant impact on mortality and morbidity after early-life brain injury and on age-related disease onset and proteinopathy in mice. This study provides novel insight into genetic determinants of poor outcomes after acute injury to the neonatal brain and how early-life brain injury can influence adult-onset neurodegenerative disease during aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number635
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - 2019


  • ALS
  • Neonatal brain damage
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Synuclein oligomerization
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neonatal brain injury and genetic causes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disease in mice interact with effects on acute and late outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this