Author(s): Nishibe M, Barbay S, Guggenmos D, Nudo RJ
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Abstract We report the results of controlled cortical impact (CCI) centered on the caudal forelimb area (CFA) of rat motor cortex to determine the feasibility of examining cortical plasticity in a spared cortical motor area (rostral forelimb area, RFA). We compared the effects of three CCI parameter sets (groups CCI-1, CCI-2, and CCI-3) that differed in impactor surface shape, size, and location, on behavioral recovery and RFA structural and functional integrity. Forelimb deficits in the limb contralateral to the injury were evident in all three CCI groups assessed by skilled reach and footfault tasks that persisted throughout the 35-day post-CCI assessment period. Nissl-stained coronal sections revealed that the RFA was structurally intact. Intracortical microstimulation experiments conducted at 7 weeks post-CCI demonstrated that RFA was functionally viable. However, the size of the forelimb representation decreased significantly in CCI-1 compared to the control group. Subdivided into component movement categories, there was a significant group effect for proximal forelimb movements. The RFA area reduction and reorganization are discussed in relation to possible diaschisis, and to compensatory functional behavior, respectively. Also, an inverse correlation between the anterior extent of the lesion and the size of the RFA was identified and is discussed in relation to corticocortical connectivity. The results suggest that CCI can be applied to rat CFA while sparing RFA. This CCI model can contribute to our understanding of neural plasticity in premotor cortex as a substrate for functional motor recovery.
This article was published in J Neurotrauma
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism