Differential expression of circulating inflammatory proteins following sport-related traumatic brain injury

Ghazala Begum, Rahul Reddy, Kamal M Yakoub, Antonio Belli, David J Davies, Valentina Di Pietro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


Sport-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) elicits a multifaceted inflammatory response leading to brain injury and morbidity. This response could be a predictive tool for the progression of TBI and to stratify the injury of which mild TBI is most prevalent. Therefore, we examined the differential expression of serum inflammatory markers overtime and identified novel markers in repetitively concussed athletes. Neuropsychological assessment by Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) was performed on rugby players and serum was taken from healthy, concussed and repetitively concussed athletes. Serum was also obtained <1 week and >1 week after trauma and analyzed for 92 inflammatory protein markers. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and interleukin-7 (IL-7) differentiated repetitively concussed athletes. Macrophage chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor superfamily member 14 (TNFSF14) were significantly reduced >1 week and chemokine (C-X3-C motif) ligand 1 (CX3CL1) upregulated <1 week after injury. FGF21 and MCP-1 negatively correlated with symptoms and their severity. We have identified dynamic changes in the inflammatory response overtime and in different classes of concussion correlating with disease progression. This data supports the use of inflammatory biomarkers as predictors of symptom development due to secondary complications of sport-related mTBI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1216
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020


  • Concussion
  • FGF21
  • MCP-1
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential expression of circulating inflammatory proteins following sport-related traumatic brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this