BACKGROUND: Blood-based biomarkers have proven to be a reliable measure of the severity and outcome of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both murine models and patients. In particular, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), neurofilament light (NFL) and S100 beta (S100B) have been investigated in the clinical setting post-injury. Ethanol intoxication (EI) remains a significant comorbidity in TBI, with 30-40% of patients having a positive blood alcohol concentration post-TBI. The effect of ethanol on blood-based biomarkers for the prognosis and diagnosis of TBI remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of EI on NSE, NFL and S100B and their correlation with blood-brain barrier integrity in a murine model of TBI.
METHODS: We used ultra-sensitive single-molecule array technology and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods to measure NFL, NSE, S100B and claudin-5 concentrations in plasma 3 hours post-TBI.
RESULTS: We showed that NFL, NSE and S100B were increased at 3 hours post-TBI. Interestingly, ethanol blood concentrations showed an inverse correlation with NSE but not with NFL or S100B. Claudin-5 levels were increased post-injury but no difference was detected compared to ethanol pretreatment. The increase in claudin-5 post-TBI was correlated with NFL but not with NSE or S100B.
CONCLUSIONS: Ethanol induces an effect on biomarker release in the bloodstream that is different from TBI not influenced by alcohol. This could be the basis of investigations into humans.