Long-term neurological recovery after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is strongly linked to the repair and functional restoration of injured white matter. Emerging evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) plays an important role in promoting white matter integrity after cerebral ischemic injury. Here, we report that delayed intranasal delivery of nanoparticle-packed IL-4 boosted sensorimotor neurological recovery in a murine model of controlled cortical impact, as assessed by a battery of neurobehavioral tests for up to five weeks. Post-injury IL-4 treatment failed to reduce macroscopic brain lesions after TBI, but preserved the structural and functional integrity of white matter, at least in part through oligodendrogenesis. IL-4 directly facilitated the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) into mature myelin-producing oligodendrocytes in primary cultures, an effect that was attenuated by selective PPARγ inhibition. IL-4 treatment after TBI in vivo also failed to stimulate oligodendrogenesis or improve white matter integrity in OPC-specific PPARγ conditional knockout (cKO) mice. Accordingly, IL-4-afforded improvements in sensorimotor neurological recovery after TBI were markedly impaired in the PPARγ cKO mice compared to wildtype controls. These results support IL-4 as a potential novel neurorestorative therapy to improve white matter functionality and mitigate the long-term neurological consequences of TBI.
- OPC differentiation
- Traumatic brain injury
- white matter injury/integrity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine