Controlled Cortical Impact-Induced Neurodegeneration Decreases After Administration of the Novel Calpain-Inhibitor Gabadur

Abstract

One aspect of secondary injury in traumatic brain injury is the marked increase in intracellular calcium and
resultant over-activation of the calcium-dependent neutral cysteine protease calpain. Gabadur is a novel protease inhibitor with calpain-inhibition properties formulated from the classic protease inhibitor leupeptin linked to a pregabalin carrier. This construction allows the entire compound to cross the blood-brain barrier after peripheral administration to better target the site of injury. In this study, a single intraperitoneal dose of Gabadur was administered immediately following controlled cortical impact injury in rats. Neocortical slices were examined at 48 h post-injury via Fluoro-Jade B staining, revealing an improvement in cortical neurodegeneration in Gabadur treated rats. Levels of detrimental active calpain-2 measured via western blot were also decreased in rats receiving Gabadur. This data supports the benefit of targeted protease inhibition in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

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