Trovafloxacin attenuates neuroinflammation and improves outcome after traumatic brain injury in mice

Charu Garg, Joon Ho Seo, Jayalakshmi Ramachandran, Ji Meng Loh, Frances Calderon, Jorge E. Contreras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Trovafloxacin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, recently identified as an inhibitor of pannexin-1 (Panx1) channels. Panx1 channels are important conduits for the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release from live and dying cells that enhances the inflammatory response of immune cells. Elevated extracellular levels ATP released upon injury activate purinergic pathways in inflammatory cells that promote migration, proliferation, phagocytosis, and apoptotic signals. Here, we tested whether trovafloxacin administration attenuates the neuroinflammatory response and improves outcomes after brain trauma. Methods: The murine controlled cortical impact (CCI) model was used to determine whether in vivo delivery of trovafloxacin has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions after brain trauma. Locomotor deficit was assessed using the rotarod test. Levels of tissue damage markers and inflammation were measured using western blot, qPCR, and immunofluorescence. In vitro assays were used to evaluate whether trovafloxacin blocks ATP release and cell migration in a chemotactic-stimulated microglia cell line. Results: Trovafloxacin treatment of CCI-injured mice significantly reduced tissue damage markers and improved locomotor deficits. In addition, trovafloxacin treatment significantly reduced mRNA levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α), which correlates with an overall reduction in the accumulation of inflammatory cell types (neutrophils, microglia/macrophages, and astroglia) at the injury zone. To determine whether trovafloxacin exerted these effects by direct action on immune cells, we evaluated its effect on ATP release and cell migration using a chemotactic-stimulated microglial cell line. We found that trovafloxacin significantly inhibited both ATP release and migration of these cells. Conclusion: Our results show that trovafloxacin administration has pronounced anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects following brain injury. These findings lay the foundation for future studies to directly test a role for Panx1 channels in pathological inflammation following brain trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Brain injury
  • Hemichannel
  • Microglia
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pannexin


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