Recent fcMRI studies examining spontaneous brain activity after stoke have revealed disrupted global patterns of functional connectivity (FC). Interestingly, acute interhemispheric homotopic FC has been shown to be predictive of recovery potential. While substantial indirect evidence also suggests that homotopic brain activity may directly impact recovery, results in humans are extremely varied. A better understanding of how activity within networks functionally-connected to lesioned tissue influences brain plasticity might improve therapeutic strategies. We combine cell-type specific optogenetic targeting with optical intrinsic signal (OIS) imaging to assess the effects of homotopic contralesional activity (specifically in excitatory CamKIIa pyramidal neurons) on FC, cortical remapping, and behavior after stroke. Thirty-one mice were housed in enriched cages for the experiment. OIS imaging was performed before, 1, and 4 weeks after photothrombosis of left forepaw somatosensory cortex (S1fp). On day 1 after stroke, 17 mice were subjected to chronic, intermittent optical stimulation of right S1fp for 10 min, 5 days/week for 4 weeks. New cortical representations of left S1fp appeared in non-stimulated mice at week 1, but not in stimulated mice (p=0.005). Evoked responses were comparable in both groups at week 4 (p=0.57). Homotopic FC between left and right S1fp regions was equally reduced in both groups (p=0.012) at week 1. However, in non-stimulated mice, behavioral performance and FC between right S1fp and left perilesional S1 cortex was significantly higher by 4 weeks compared to stimulated mice (p=0.009). Our results suggest that increased homotopic, contralesional activity in excitatory neurons negatively influences spontaneous recovery following ischemic stroke.
Adam Q. Bauer, Andrew Kraft, Grant A. Baxter, Michael R. Bruchas, Jin-Moo Lee, and Joseph P. Culver, "Contralesional homotopic activity negatively influences functional recovery after stroke (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10052, Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation, 100520P (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253719.5371339438001.
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