Traumatic brain injury impairs myogenic constriction of cerebral arteries: Role of mitochondria-derived H 2 O 2 and TRPV4-Dependent Activation of BK ca Channels

Nikolett Szarka, Mallikarjuna R. Pabbidi, Krisztina Amrein, Endre Czeiter, Gergely Berta, Krisztina Pohoczky, Zsuzsanna Helyes, Zoltan Ungvari, Akos Koller, Andras Buki, Peter Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) impairs autoregulation of cerebral blood flow, which contributes to the development of secondary brain injury, increasing mortality of patients. Impairment of pressure-induced myogenic constriction of cerebral arteries plays a critical role in autoregulatory dysfunction; however, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are not well understood. To determine the role of mitochondria-derived H 2 O 2 and large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (BK Ca ) in myogenic autoregulatory dysfunction, middle cerebral arteries (MCAs) were isolated from rats with severe weight drop-impact acceleration brain injury. We found that 24 h post-TBI MCAs exhibited impaired myogenic constriction, which was restored by treatment with a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant (mitoTEMPO), by scavenging of H 2 O 2 (polyethylene glycol [PEG]-catalase) and by blocking both BK Ca channels (paxilline) and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 4 (TRPV4) channels (HC 067047). Further, exogenous administration of H 2 O 2 elicited significant dilation of MCAs, which was inhibited by blocking either BK Ca or TRPV4 channels. Vasodilation induced by the TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A was inhibited by paxilline. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells H 2 O 2 activated BK Ca currents, which were inhibited by blockade of TRPV4 channels. Collectively, our results suggest that after TBI, excessive mitochondria-derived H 2 O 2 activates BK Ca channels via a TRPV4-dependent pathway in the vascular smooth muscle cells, which impairs pressure-induced constriction of cerebral arteries. Future studies should elucidate the therapeutic potential of pharmacological targeting of this pathway in TBI, to restore autoregulatory function in order to prevent secondary brain damage and decrease mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-939
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • autoregulation
  • intracranial hypertension
  • oxidative stress
  • secondary injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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