In cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in which the patient survived for only a short period of time and was without macroscopic changes at autopsy, it is difficult to diagnose TBI. To detect early diagnostic markers of diffuse axonal injury (DAI), real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in an experimental head trauma model of rat was chosen. The β-amyloid precursor protein (β-APP) is a well-known diagnostic marker of DAI which can be detected by immunolabeling as early as 1.5 h after injury. β-APP has a binding protein, FE65, which is expressed in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients along with β-APP, but no involvement with brain injury has been reported. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is also a useful marker of DAI. We found that FE65 expression increased dramatically as early as 30 min after injury and decreased after peaking 1 h post-injury, although NSE showed no significant changes. These results suggest that real-time PCR of FE65 mRNA is useful for the diagnosis of DAI in forensic cases.
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