Brain Targeted Xenon Protects Cerebral Vasculature After Traumatic Brain Injury

Samuel S. Shin, Rajarshi Chattaraj, Angela N. Viaene, Mrigendra B. Karmacharya, Sophie Haddad, Rinat Degani, Anush Sridharan, Chandra Sehgal, Daeyeon Lee, Todd J. Kilbaugh, Misun Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebrovascular dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-characterized phenomenon. Given the therapeutic potential of xenon, we aimed to study its effects after localized delivery to the brain using microbubbles. We designed xenon-containing microbubbles stabilized by dibehenoylphosphatidylcholine (DBPC) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) attached to saturated phospholipid (DPSE-PEG5000). Using a pig model of TBI, these microbubbles were intravenously injected, and ultrasound was used to release xenon at the level of the carotid artery. The control group received perfluorobutane containing microbubbles. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) showed areas of higher fractional anisotropy for pigs receiving xenon microbubbles compared to the control group at 1 day after injury. Radial diffusivity analysis showed that this effect was mainly the result of acute edema. Pigs were euthanized at 5 days, and the brain tissues of xenon-treated animals showed reduction of perivascular inflammation and blood-brain barrier disruption. Endothelial cell culture experiments showed that glutamate reduces tight junction protein zona occludens-1 (ZO-1), but treatment with xenon microbubbles attenuates this effect. Xenon treatment protects cerebrovasculature and reduces astroglial reactivity after TBI. Further, these data support the future use of localized delivery of various therapeutic agents for brain injury using microbubbles in order to limit systemic side effects and reduce costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1480
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


  • cerebrovascular
  • microbubbles
  • traumatic brain injury
  • ultrasound
  • xenon


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