Background. An ischemic stroke is followed by the remapping of motor representation and extensive changes in cortical excitability involving both hemispheres. Although stimulation of the ipsilesional motor cortex, especially when paired with motor training, facilitates plasticity and functional restoration, the remapping of motor representation of the single and combined treatments is largely unexplored. Objective. We investigated if spatio-temporal features of motor-related cortical activity and the new motor representations are related to the rehabilitative treatment or if they can be specifically associated to functional recovery. Methods. We designed a novel rehabilitative treatment that combines neuro-plasticizing intervention with motor training. In detail, optogenetic stimulation of peri-infarct excitatory neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin 2 was associated with daily motor training on a robotic device. The effectiveness of the combined therapy was compared with spontaneous recovery and with the single treatments (ie optogenetic stimulation or motor training). Results. We found that the extension and localization of the new motor representations are specific to the treatment, where most treatments promote segregation of the motor representation to the peri-infarct region. Interestingly, only the combined therapy promotes both the recovery of forelimb functionality and the rescue of spatio-temporal features of motor-related activity. Functional recovery results from a new excitatory/inhibitory balance between hemispheres as revealed by the augmented motor response flanked by the increased expression of parvalbumin positive neurons in the peri-infarct area. Conclusions. Our findings highlight that functional recovery and restoration of motor-related neuronal activity are not necessarily coupled during post-stroke recovery. Indeed the reestablishment of cortical activation features of calcium transient is distinctive of the most effective therapeutic approach, the combined therapy.

Combining Optogenetic Stimulation and Motor Training Improves Functional Recovery and Perilesional Cortical Activity

Conti E.;Pasquini M.;Pizzorusso T.;Micera S.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background. An ischemic stroke is followed by the remapping of motor representation and extensive changes in cortical excitability involving both hemispheres. Although stimulation of the ipsilesional motor cortex, especially when paired with motor training, facilitates plasticity and functional restoration, the remapping of motor representation of the single and combined treatments is largely unexplored. Objective. We investigated if spatio-temporal features of motor-related cortical activity and the new motor representations are related to the rehabilitative treatment or if they can be specifically associated to functional recovery. Methods. We designed a novel rehabilitative treatment that combines neuro-plasticizing intervention with motor training. In detail, optogenetic stimulation of peri-infarct excitatory neurons expressing Channelrhodopsin 2 was associated with daily motor training on a robotic device. The effectiveness of the combined therapy was compared with spontaneous recovery and with the single treatments (ie optogenetic stimulation or motor training). Results. We found that the extension and localization of the new motor representations are specific to the treatment, where most treatments promote segregation of the motor representation to the peri-infarct region. Interestingly, only the combined therapy promotes both the recovery of forelimb functionality and the rescue of spatio-temporal features of motor-related activity. Functional recovery results from a new excitatory/inhibitory balance between hemispheres as revealed by the augmented motor response flanked by the increased expression of parvalbumin positive neurons in the peri-infarct area. Conclusions. Our findings highlight that functional recovery and restoration of motor-related neuronal activity are not necessarily coupled during post-stroke recovery. Indeed the reestablishment of cortical activation features of calcium transient is distinctive of the most effective therapeutic approach, the combined therapy.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/558950
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