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Physical exercise enhances adult cortical plasticity in a neonatal rat model of hypoxic-ischemic injury: Evidence from BOLD-fMRI and electrophysiological recordings

 Sun Young Chae  ;  Jun Ho Jang  ;  Geun Ho Im  ;  Ji-Hyun Jeong  ;  Won-Beom Jung  ;  Sukjin Ko  ;  Hyesoo Jie  ;  Ji Hye Kim  ;  Yun Sil Chang  ;  Seungsoo Chung  ;  Ki-Soo Kim  ;  Jung Hee Lee 
 Neuroimage, Vol.188 : 335-346, 2019 
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Cortical plasticity ; Electrophysiology ; Excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance ; Feed-forward inhibition (FFI) ; Functional MRI (fMRI) ; Hypoxic-ischemic injury ; Physical exercise
Neuroplasticity is considered essential for recovery from brain injury in developing brains. Recent studies indicate that it is especially effective during early postnatal development and during the critical period. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and local field potential (LFP) electrophysiological recordings in rats that experienced neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury during the critical period to demonstrate that physical exercise (PE) can improve cortical plasticity even when performed during adulthood, after the critical period. We investigated to what extent the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD)-fMRI responses were increased in the contralesional spared cortex, and how these increases were related to the LFP electrophysiological measurements and the functional outcome. The balance of excitation and inhibition was assessed by measuring excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in stellate cells in the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex, which was compared with the BOLD-fMRI responses in the contralesional S1 cortex. The ratio of inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) to excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) at the thalamocortical (TC) input to the spared S1 cortex was significantly increased by PE, which is consistent with the increased BOLD-fMRI responses and improved functional outcome. Our data clearly demonstrate in an experimental rat model of HI injury during the critical period that PE in adulthood enhances neuroplasticity and suggest that enhanced feed-forward inhibition at the TC input to the S1 cortex might underlie the PE-induced amelioration of the somatosensory deficits caused by the HI injury. In summary, the results of the current study indicate that PE, even if performed beyond the critical period or during adulthood, can be an effective therapy to treat neonatal brain injuries, providing a potential mechanism for the development of a potent rehabilitation strategy to alleviate HI-induced neurological impairments.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Physiology (생리학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Ko, Suk Jin(고석진)
Chung, Seung Soo(정승수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3119-9628
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