Supplementary Material for: Traumatic Injury to the Immature Frontal Lobe: A New Murine Model of Long-Term Motor Impairment in the Absence of Psychosocial or Cognitive Deficits

Traumatic brain injury in children commonly involves the frontal lobes and is associated with distinct structural and behavioral changes. Despite the clinical significance of injuries localized to this region during brain development, the mechanisms underlying secondary damage and long-term recovery are poorly understood. Here, we have characterized the first model of unilateral focal traumatic injury to the developing frontal lobe. Male C57Bl/6J mice at postnatal day (p)21, an age approximating a toddler-aged child, received a controlled cortical impact or sham surgery to the left frontal lobe and were euthanized 1 or 7 days later. A necrotic cavity and local inflammatory response were largely confined to the unilateral frontal lobe, dorsal corpus callosum and striatum anterior to the bregma. While cell death and accumulated β-amyloid precursor protein were characteristic features of the pericontusional motor cortex, corpus callosum, cingulum and dorsal striatum, underlying structures including the hippocampus showed no overt pathology. To determine the long-term functional consequences of injury at p21, two additional cohorts were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests in adolescence (p35-45) or adulthood (p70-80). In both cohorts, brain-injured mice showed normal levels of anxiety, sociability, spatial learning and memory. The signature phenotypic features were deficits in motor function and motor learning, coincident with a reduction in ipsilateral cortical brain volumes. Together, these findings demonstrate classic morphological features of a focal traumatic injury, including early cell death and axonal injury, and long-term volumetric loss of cortical volumes. The presence of deficits in sensorimotor function and coordination in the absence of abnormal findings related to anxiety, sociability and memory likely reflects several variables, including the unique location of the injury and the emergence of favorable compensatory mechanisms during subsequent brain development.