Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) plays positive roles in the therapy of traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, the mechanism underlying its effects on TBI is largely unknown. The study aims to elucidate the molecular mechanism implicated with the interaction between platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway, which may play critical roles during HBO treatment both in the astrocyte scratching model in vitro and rat TBI model in vivo.
Changes in neurological function and wound healing were evaluated using the neurological severity scores (NSS) scale, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and qRT-PCR, respectively.
The results showed that PDGF-BBi (PDGB interfered with small RNA) dramatically improves neuronal viability in vitro when transfected into the scratched astrocytes derived from the cerebral cortex of neonatal rats. Moreover, in vivo experiments revealed that HBO therapy substantially elevated the NSS scores and simultaneously reduced the mortality in TBI rats, as indicated by the NSS scales. Notably, HBO therapy was found to possess the ability to inhibit glial cell proliferation, promote the regeneration of neurons and synapses, and ultimately facilitate the wound healing, as revealed by immunohistochemistry and glial scar formation found in TBI rats. Importantly, HBO markedly decreased the expression levels of PDGF-BB and ERK1/2. It can clearly be seen that downregulated PDGF-BB and ERK1/2 levels were corresponding with the status of significant amelioration of the therapeutic effect of HBO. Conversely, the upregulation of PDGF-BB and ERK1/2 levels was in line with the opposite effect.
It has been concluded that HBO therapy may play its active role in TBI treatment dependent on astrogliosis inhibition, which may be achieved by downregulating the ERK1/2 signaling pathway mediated by PDGF-BB.

© 2023. The Author(s).