May 18, 2021

Homotopic contralesional excitation suppresses spontaneous circuit repair and global network reconnections following ischemic stroke

<p>Understanding circuit-level changes that affect the brain's capacity for plasticity will inform the design of targeted interventions for treating stroke recovery. We combine optogenetic photostimulation with optical neuroimaging to examine how contralesional excitatory activity affects cortical remodeling after stroke in mice. Following photothrombosis of left primary somatosensory forepaw (S1FP) cortex, mice received chronic excitation of right S1FP, a maneuver mimicking the use of the unaffected limb during recovery. Contralesional excitation suppressed perilesional S1FP remapping and was associated with abnormal patterns of evoked activity in the unaffected limb. Contralesional stimulation prevented the restoration of resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) within the S1FP network, RSFC in several networks functionally-distinct from somatomotor regions, and resulted in persistent limb-use asymmetry. In stimulated mice, perilesional tissue exhibited suppressed transcriptional changes in several genes important for recovery. These results suggest that contralesional excitation impedes local and global circuit reconnection through suppression of several neuroplasticity-related genes after stroke.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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