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Angstman, Nicholas B.; Kiessling, Maren C.; Frank, Hans-Georg and Schmitz, Christoph (2015): High interindividual variability in dose-dependent reduction in speed of movement after exposing C. elegans to shock waves. In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 9, 12 [PDF, 10MB]

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In blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (br-mTBI) little is known about the connections between initial trauma and expression of individual clinical symptoms. Partly due to limitations of current in vitro and in vivo models of br-mTBI, reliable prediction of individual short-and long-term symptoms based on known blast input has not yet been possible. Here we demonstrate a dose-dependent effect of shock wave exposure on C. elegans using shock waves that share physical characteristics with those hypothesized to induce br-mTBI in humans. Increased exposure to shock waves resulted in decreased mean speed of movement while increasing the proportion of worms rendered paralyzed. Recovery of these two behavioral symptoms was observed during increasing post-traumatic waiting periods. Although effects were observed on a population-wide basis, large interindividual variability was present between organisms exposed to the same highly controlled conditions. Reduction of cavitation by exposing worms to shock waves in polyvinyl alcohol resulted in reduced effect, implicating primary blast effects as damaging components in shock wave induced trauma. Growing worms on NGM agar plates led to the same general results in initial shock wave effect in a standard medium, namely dose-dependence and high interindividual variability, as raising worms in liquid cultures. Taken together, these data indicate that reliable prediction of individual clinical symptoms based on known blast input as well as drawing conclusions on blast input from individual clinical symptoms is not feasible in br-mTBI.

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