Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC), transient restriction and recirculation of blood flow to a limb after traumatic brain injury (TBI), can modify levels of pathology-associated circulating protein. This study sought to identify TBI-induced molecular alterations in plasma and whether RIC would modulate protein and metabolite levels at 24 h after diffuse TBI. Adult male C57BL/6 mice received diffuse TBI by midline fluid percussion or were sham-injured. Mice were assigned to treatment groups 1 h after recovery of righting reflex: sham, TBI, sham RIC, TBI RIC. Nine plasma metabolites were significantly lower post-TBI (six amino acids, two acylcarnitines, one carnosine). RIC intervention returned metabolites to sham levels. Using proteomics analysis, twenty-four putative protein markers for TBI and RIC were identified. After application of Benjamini–Hochberg correction, actin, alpha 1, skeletal muscle (ACTA1) was found to be significantly increased in TBI compared to both sham groups and TBI RIC. Thus, identified metabolites and proteins provide potential biomarkers for TBI and therapeutic RIC in order to monitor disease progression and therapeutic efficacy.
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