Acute Treatment with the M-Channel (Kv7, KCNQ) Opener Retigabine Reduces the Long-Term Effects of Repetitive Blast Traumatic Brain Injuries

Fabio A. Vigil, Hindiael Belchior, Vladislav Bugay, Isabella I. Bazaldua, Aiola Stoja, Denise C. Dantas, Sang H. Chun, Austin Farmer, Eda Bozdemir, Deborah M. Holstein, Jose E. Cavazos, James D. Lechleiter, Robert Brenner, Mark S. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We investigated whether pharmacological increase of “M-type” (KCNQ, Kv7) K + channel currents by the M-channel opener, retigabine (RTG), acutely after repetitive traumatic brain injuries (rTBIs), prevents or reduces their long-term detrimental effects. rTBIs were studied using a blast shock air wave mouse model. Animals were monitored by video and electroencephalogram (EEG) records for nine months after the last injury to assess the occurrence of post-traumatic seizures (PTS), post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), sleep–wake cycle architecture alterations, and the power of the EEG signals. We evaluated the development of long-term changes in the brain associated with various neurodegenerative diseases in mice by examining transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) expression and nerve fiber damage ~ 2 years after the rTBIs. We observed acute RTG treatment to reduce the duration of PTS and impair the development of PTE. Acute RTG treatment also prevented post-injury hypersomnia, nerve fiber damage, and cortical TDP-43 accumulation and translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Mice that developed PTE displayed impaired rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and there were significant correlations between seizure duration and time spent in the different stages of the sleep–wake cycle. We observed acute RTG treatment to impair injury-induced reduction of age-related increase in gamma frequency power of the EGG, which has been suggested to be necessary for a healthy aged brain. The data show that RTG, administered acutely post-TBI, is a promising, novel therapeutic option to blunt/prevent several long-term effects of rTBIs. Furthermore, our results show a direct relationship between sleep architecture and PTE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-869
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • M current
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy
  • Sleep
  • TDP-43
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute Treatment with the M-Channel (Kv7, KCNQ) Opener Retigabine Reduces the Long-Term Effects of Repetitive Blast Traumatic Brain Injuries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this