Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

Audrey Lafrenaye

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Dupree

Third Advisor

Carmen Sato-Bigbee

Fourth Advisor

Alia O'Meara


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common phenomenon, accounting for significant cost and adverse health effects. While there is information about focal pathologies following TBI, knowledge of more diffuse processes is lacking, particularly regarding how analgesics affect this pathology. As Buprenorphine (Bup) is the most commonly used analgesic in experimental TBI models, the current study investigated the effects of the opioid analgesic Buprenorphine-sustained release-Lab (Bup-SR-Lab) on physiology and myelin alterations at 1d and 4w following central fluid percussion injury (cFPI) in adult male rats. Microscopic assessments were performed at 1 day and 4w post-injury. Myelin pathology was assessed by evaluating the expression of myelin basic protein (MBP) and the propensity of MBP+ myelin debris in the lateral neocortex and thalamus. Acute physiologic data showed no difference between groups except for reduction in weight loss 1d following cFPI in Bup-treated animals compared to saline. At 4w, however, there were no significant changes in weight loss across groups. A dip in weight was observed acutely post-CFPI, but all animal groups were able to recover from the weight loss by 1w post-injury and most animals on average were able to gain more weight than their pre-injury weights regardless of treatment group. At 1d post-injury, Bup had no effect on myelin integrity but did alter the number of myelin fibers in an injury-specific and region-specific manner at 4w post-injury. MBP expression showed no significant differences between Bup and saline treated animals at 1d post-injury, but there were significant regional differences between the cortex and thalamus. Expression of MBP at 4w was altered in a region-specific as well as a drug-and-region related manner. These data suggest Bup treatment has an acute effect on weight and in myelin alterations following cFPI. However, effects of Bup treatment on myelin seem to be exacerbated with time.


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