Behavioral and inflammatory response in animals exposed to a low-pressure blast wave and supplemented with β-alanine Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the benefit of β-alanine (BA) supplementation on behavioral and cognitive responses relating to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in rats exposed to a low-pressure blast wave. Animals were fed a normal diet with or without (PL) BA supplementation (100 mg kg−1) for 30-day, prior to being exposed to a low-pressure blast wave. A third group of animals served as a control (CTL). These animals were fed a normal diet, but were not exposed to the blast. Validated cognitive-behavioral paradigms were used to assess both mTBI and PTSD-like behavior on days 7–14 following the blast. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neuropeptide Y, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and tau protein expressions were analyzed a day later. In addition, brain carnosine and histidine content was assessed as well. The prevalence of animals exhibiting mTBI-like behavior was significantly lower (p = 0.044) in BA than PL (26.5 and 46%, respectively), but no difference (p = 0.930) was noted in PTSD-like behavior between the groups (10.2 and 12.0%, respectively). Carnosine content in the cerebral cortex was higher (p = 0.048) for BA compared to PL, while a trend towards a difference was seen in the hippocampus (p = 0.058) and amygdala (p = 0.061). BDNF expression in the CA1 subregion of PL was lower than BA (p = 0.009) and CTL (p < 0.001), while GFAP expression in CA1 (p = 0.003) and CA3 (p = 0.040) subregions were higher in PL than other groups. Results indicated that BA supplementation for 30-day increased resiliency to mTBI in animals exposed to a low-pressure blast wave.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017