Traumatic brain injury is a well-recognized environmental risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease. Repetitive concussive brain injury (RCBI) exacerbates brain lipid peroxidation, accelerates amyloid (Aβ) formation and deposition, as well as cognitive impairments in Tg2576 mice. This study evaluated the effects of vitamin E on these four parameters in Tg2576 mice following RCBI. Eleven-month-old mice were randomized to receive either regular chow or chow-supplemented with vitamin E for 4 weeks, and subjected to RCBI (two injuries, 24 h apart) using a modified controlled cortical impact model of closed head injury.
The same dietary regimens were maintained up to 8 weeks post-injury, when the animals were killed for biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses after behavioral evaluation. Vitamin E-treated animals showed a significant increase in brain vitamin E levels and a significant decrease in brain lipid peroxidation levels. After RBCI, compared with the group on regular chow, animals receiving vitamin E did not show the increase in Aβ peptides, and had a significant attenuation of learning deficits. This study suggests that the exacerbation of brain oxidative stress following RCBI plays a mechanistic role in accelerating Αβ accumulation and behavioral impairments in the Tg2576 mice.