BACKGROUND: Evidence from clinical studies and preclinical animal models suggests that proinflammatory cytokine overproduction is a potential driving force for pathology progression in traumatic brain injury (TBI). This raises the possibility that selective targeting of the overactive cytokine response, a component of the neuroinflammation that contributes to neuronal dysfunction, may be a useful therapeutic approach. MW151 is a CNS-penetrant, small molecule experimental therapeutic that selectively restores injury- or disease-induced overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines towards homeostasis. We previously reported that MW151 administered post-injury (p.i.) is efficacious in a closed head injury (CHI) model of diffuse TBI in mice. Here we test dose dependence of MW151 to suppress the target mechanism (proinflammatory cytokine up-regulation), and explore the therapeutic window for MW151 efficacy.

METHODS: We examined suppression of the acute cytokine surge when MW151 was administered at different times post-injury and the dose-dependence of cytokine suppression. We also tested a more prolonged treatment with MW151 over the first 7 days post-injury and measured the effects on cognitive impairment and glial activation.

RESULTS: MW151 administered up to 6 h post-injury suppressed the acute cytokine surge, in a dose-dependent manner. Administration of MW151 over the first 7 days post-injury rescues the CHI-induced cognitive impairment and reduces glial activation in the focus area of the CHI.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify a clinically relevant time window post-CHI during which MW151 effectively restores cytokine production back towards normal, with a resultant attenuation of downstream cognitive impairment.

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Published in Journal of Neuroinflammation, v. 12, article 69, p. 1-9.

© 2015 Bachstetter et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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