Motor cortex bilateral motor representation depends on subcortical and interhemispheric interactions.
ABSTRACT: The corticospinal tract is a predominantly crossed pathway. Nevertheless, the primary motor cortex (M1) is activated bilaterally during unilateral movements and several animal studies showed that M1 has a bilateral motor representation. A better understanding of the uncrossed corticospinal system is especially important for elucidating its role in recovery of limb control after unilateral injury. We used intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) to determine the representation of contralateral and ipsilateral forelimb joints at single M1 sites in the rat. Most sites representing an ipsilateral joint corepresented the same joint contralaterally. We next determined whether ipsilateral responses evoked in one hemisphere depended on the function of M1 in the opposite hemisphere using reversible inactivation and pyramidal tract lesion. Ipsilateral responses were eliminated when the homotopic forelimb area of M1 in the opposite hemisphere was inactivated or when the pyramidal tract on the nonstimulated side was sectioned. To determine the role of transfer between M1 in each hemisphere we sectioned the corpus callosum, which produced a 33% increase in ipsilateral ICMS thresholds. Neither M1 inactivation nor callosal section changed contralateral response thresholds, indicating the absence of tonic excitatory or inhibitory drive to the opposite M1. Finally, ipsilateral responses following M1 inactivation and pyramidal tract lesion could be evoked after systemic administration of the K(+) channel blocker 4-aminopyridine, suggesting the presence of latent connections. Our findings show important interactions between the corticospinal systems from each side, especially at the spinal level. This has important implications for recruiting the ipsilateral corticospinal system after injury.
Project description:An important strategy for promoting voluntary movements after motor system injury is to harness activity-dependent corticospinal tract (CST) plasticity. We combine forelimb motor cortex (M1) activation with co-activation of its cervical spinal targets in rats to promote CST sprouting and skilled limb movement after pyramidal tract lesion (PTX). We used a two-step experimental design in which we first established the optimal combined stimulation protocol in intact rats and then used the optimal protocol in injured animals to promote CST repair and motor recovery. M1 was activated epidurally using an electrical analog of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS). The cervical spinal cord was co-activated by trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) that was targeted to the cervical enlargement, simulated from finite element method. In intact rats, forelimb motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were strongly facilitated during iTBS and for 10 min after cessation of stimulation. Cathodal, not anodal, tsDCS alone facilitated MEPs and also produced a facilitatory aftereffect that peaked at 10 min. Combined iTBS and cathodal tsDCS (c-tsDCS) produced further MEP enhancement during stimulation, but without further aftereffect enhancement. Correlations between forelimb M1 local field potentials and forelimb electromyogram (EMG) during locomotion increased after electrical iTBS alone and further increased with combined stimulation (iTBS+c-tsDCS). This optimized combined stimulation was then used to promote function after PTX because it enhanced functional connections between M1 and spinal circuits and greater M1 engagement in muscle contraction than either stimulation alone. Daily application of combined M1 iTBS on the intact side and c-tsDCS after PTX (10 days, 27 min/day) significantly restored skilled movements during horizontal ladder walking. Stimulation produced a 5.4-fold increase in spared ipsilateral CST terminations. Combined neuromodulation achieves optimal motor recovery and substantial CST outgrowth with only 27 min of daily stimulation compared with 6h, as in our prior study, making it a potential therapy for humans with spinal cord injury.
Project description:Skilled motor training results in reorganization of contralateral motor cortex movement representations. The ipsilateral motor cortex is believed to play a role in skilled motor control, but little is known about how training influences reorganization of ipsilateral motor representations of the trained limb. To determine whether training results in reorganization of ipsilateral motor cortex maps, rats were trained to perform the isometric pull task, an automated motor task that requires skilled forelimb use. After either 3 or 6 months of training, intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) mapping was performed to document motor representations of the trained forelimb in the hemisphere ipsilateral to that limb. Motor training for 3 months resulted in a robust expansion of right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex, demonstrating that skilled motor training drives map plasticity ipsilateral to the trained limb. After 6 months of training, the right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex was significantly smaller than the representation observed in rats trained for 3 months and similar to untrained controls, consistent with a normalization of motor cortex maps. Forelimb map area was not correlated with performance on the trained task, suggesting that task performance is maintained despite normalization of cortical maps. This study provides new insights into how the ipsilateral cortex changes in response to skilled learning and may inform rehabilitative strategies to enhance cortical plasticity to support recovery after brain injury.
Project description:Evidence suggests that motor experience plays a role in shaping development of the corticospinal system and voluntary motor control, which is a key motor function of the system. Here we used a mouse model with conditional forebrain deletion of the gene for EphA4 (Emx1-Cre:EphA4tm2Kldr), which regulates development of the laterality of corticospinal tract (CST). We combined study of Emx1-Cre:EphA4tm2Kldr with unilateral forelimb constraint during development to expand our understanding of experience-dependent CST development from both basic and translational perspectives. This mouse develops dense ipsilateral CST projections, a bilateral motor cortex motor representation, and bilateral motor phenotypes. Together these phenotypes can be used as readouts of corticospinal system organization and function and the changes brought about by experience. The Emx1-Cre:EphA4tm2Kldr mouse shares features with the common developmental disorder cerebral palsy: bilateral voluntary motor impairments and bilateral CST miswiring. Emx1-Cre:EphA4tm2Kldr mice with typical motor experiences during development display the bilateral phenotype of "mirror" reaching, because of a strongly bilateral motor cortex motor representation and a bilateral CST. By contrast, Emx1-Cre:EphA4tm2Kldr mice that experienced unilateral forelimb constraint from P1 to P30 and tested at maturity had a more contralateral motor cortex motor representation in each hemisphere; more lateralized CST projections; and substantially more lateralized/independent reaching movements. Changes in CST organization and function in this model can be explained by reduced synaptic competition of the CST from the side without developmental forelimb motor experiences. Using this model we show that unilateral constraint largely abrogated the effects of the genetic mutation on CST projections and thus demonstrates how robust and persistent experience-dependent development can be for the establishment of corticospinal system connections and voluntary control. Further, our findings inform the mechanisms of and strategies for developing behavioral therapies to treat bilateral movement impairments and CST miswiring in cerebral palsy.
Project description:Most processing of sensation involves the cortical hemisphere opposite (contralateral) to the stimulated limb. Stroke patients can exhibit changes in the interhemispheric balance of sensory signal processing. It is unclear whether these changes are the result of poststroke rewiring and experience, or whether they could result from the immediate effect of circuit loss. We evaluated the effect of mini-strokes over short timescales (<2 h) where cortical rewiring is unlikely by monitoring sensory-evoked activity throughout much of both cortical hemispheres using voltage-sensitive dye imaging. Blockade of a single pial arteriole within the C57BL6J mouse forelimb somatosensory cortex reduced the response evoked by stimulation of the limb contralateral to the stroke. However, after stroke, the ipsilateral (uncrossed) forelimb response within the unaffected hemisphere was spared and became independent of the contralateral forelimb cortex. Within the unaffected hemisphere, mini-strokes in the opposite hemisphere significantly enhanced sensory responses produced by stimulation of either contralateral or ipsilateral pathways within 30-50 min of stroke onset. Stroke-induced enhancement of responses within the spared hemisphere was not reproduced by inhibition of either cortex or thalamus using pharmacological agents in nonischemic animals. I/LnJ acallosal mice showed similar rapid interhemispheric redistribution of sensory processing after stroke, suggesting that subcortical connections and not transcallosal projections were mediating the novel activation patterns. Thalamic inactivation before stroke prevented the bilateral rearrangement of sensory responses. These findings suggest that acute stroke, and not merely loss of activity, activates unique pathways that can rapidly redistribute function within the spared cortical hemisphere.
Project description:In children with unilateral cerebral palsy (uCP), the corticospinal tract (CST)-wiring patterns may differ (contralateral, ipsilateral or bilateral), partially determining motor deficits. However, the impact of such CST-wiring on functional connectivity remains unknown. Here, we explored resting-state sensorimotor functional connectivity in 26 uCP with periventricular white matter lesions (mean age (standard deviation): 12.87 m (±4.5), CST wiring: 9 contralateral, 9 ipsilateral, 6 bilateral) compared to 60 healthy controls (mean age (standard deviation): 14.54 (±4.8)), and between CST-wiring patterns. Functional connectivity from each M1 to three bilateral sensorimotor regions of interest (primary sensory cortex, dorsal and ventral premotor cortex) and the supplementary motor area was compared between groups (controls vs. uCP; and controls vs. each CST-wiring group). Seed-to-voxel analyses from bilateral M1 were compared between groups. Additionally, relations with upper limb motor deficits were explored. Aberrant sensorimotor functional connectivity seemed to be CST-dependent rather than specific from all the uCP population: in the dominant hemisphere, the contralateral CST group showed increased connectivity between M1 and premotor cortices, whereas the bilateral CST group showed higher connectivity between M1 and somatosensory association areas. These results suggest that functional connectivity of the sensorimotor network is CST-wiring-dependent, although the impact on upper limb function remains unclear.
Project description:Recently, it was shown that the highly variable after-effect of continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) can be predicted by the latency of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded before cTBS. This suggests that at least part of this inter-individual variability is driven by differences in the neuronal populations preferentially activated by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).Here, we recorded MEPs, TMS-evoked brain potentials (TEPs) and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) to investigate the effects of cTBS delivered over the primary sensorimotor cortex on both the ipsilateral and contralateral M1, and the ipsilateral and contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1).We confirm that the after-effects of cTBS can be predicted by the latency of MEPs recorded before cTBS. Over the hemisphere onto which cTBS was delivered, short-latency MEPs at baseline were associated with an increase of MEP magnitude (i.e. an excitatory effect of cTBS) whereas late-latency MEPs were associated with reduced MEPs (i.e. an inhibitory effect of cTBS). This relationship was reversed over the contralateral hemisphere, indicating opposite effects of cTBS on the responsiveness of the ipsilateral and contralateral M1. Baseline MEP latencies also predicted changes in the magnitude of the N100 wave of TEPs elicited by stimulation of the ipsilateral and contralateral hemisphere, indicating that this TEP component is specifically dependent on the state of M1. Finally, there was a reverse relationship between MEP latency and the effects of cTBS on the SEP waveforms (50-130 ms), indicating that after-effects of cTBS on S1 are opposite to those on M1.Taken together, our results confirm that the variable after-effects of cTBS can be explained by differences in the neuronal populations activated by TMS. Furthermore, our results show that this variability also determines remote effects of cTBS in S1 and the contralateral hemisphere, compatible with inter-hemispheric and sensorimotor interactions.
Project description:Rodents are the primary animal model of corticospinal injury and repair, yet current behavioral tests do not show the large deficits after injury observed in humans. Forearm supination is critical for hand function and is highly impaired by corticospinal injury in both humans and rats. Current tests of rodent forelimb function do not measure this movement.To determine if quantification of forelimb supination in rats reveals large-scale functional loss and partial recovery after corticospinal injury.We developed a knob supination device that quantifies supination using automated and objective methods. Rats in a reaching box have to grasp and turn a knob in supination in order to receive a food reward. Performance on this task and the single pellet reaching task were measured before and after 2 manipulations of the pyramidal tract: a cut lesion of 1 pyramid and inactivation of motor cortex using 2 different drug doses.A cut lesion of the corticospinal tract produced a large deficit in supination. In contrast, there was no change in pellet retrieval success. Supination function recovered partially over 6 weeks after injury, and a large deficit remained. Motor cortex inactivation produced a dose-dependent loss of knob supination; the effect on pellet reaching was more subtle.The knob supination task reveals in rodents 3 signature hand function changes observed in humans with corticospinal injury: (1) large-scale loss with injury, (2) partial recovery in the weeks after injury, and (3) loss proportional to degree of dysfunction.
Project description:Electrophysiological studies have suggested that the activity of the primary motor cortex (M1) during ipsilateral hand movement reflects both the ipsilateral innervation and the transcallosal inhibitory control from its counterpart in the opposite hemisphere, and that their asymmetry might cause hand dominancy. To examine the asymmetry of the involvement of the ipsilateral motor cortex during a unimanual motor task under frequency stress, we conducted block-design functional magnetic resonance imaging with 22 normal right-handed subjects. The task involved visually cued unimanual opponent finger movement at various rates. The contralateral M1 showed symmetric frequency-dependent activation. The ipsilateral M1 showed task-related deactivation at low frequencies without laterality. As the frequency of the left-hand movement increased, the left M1 showed a gradual decrease in the deactivation. This data suggests a frequency-dependent increased involvement of the left M1 in ipsilateral hand control. By contrast, the right M1 showed more prominent deactivation as the frequency of the right-hand movement increased. This suggests that there is an increased transcallosal inhibition from the left M1 to the right M1, which overwhelms the right M1 activation during ipsilateral hand movement. These results demonstrate the dominance of the left M1 in both ipsilateral innervation and transcallosal inhibition in right-handed individuals.
Project description:Focal ischemia may induce pathological alterations in brain areas distant from the primary lesion. In animal models, exofocal neuron death in the ipsilateral midbrain has been described after occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Using sequential magnetic resonance imaging (T2- and diffusion-weighted) at 3 Tesla, we investigated acute ischemic stroke patients on days 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10 after stroke onset. Sixteen consecutive patients who had suffered a stroke involving the caudate nucleus and/or putamen of either hemisphere were recruited into the study. Four additional patients with strokes sparing the caudate nucleus and putamen but encompassing at least one-third of the MCA territory served as controls. Ischemic lesions involving striatal structures resulted in hyperintense lesions in ipsilateral midbrain that emerged between days 6 and 10 after stroke and were not present on the initial scans. In contrast, none of the control stroke patients developed secondary midbrain lesions. Hyperintense lesions in the pyramidal tract or the brain stem caused by degeneration of the corticospinal tract could be clearly distinguished from these secondary midbrain gray matter lesions and were detectable from day 2 after ischemia. Co-registration of high-resolution images with a digitized anatomic atlas revealed localization of secondary lesions primarily in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in the secondary lesions showed a delayed sharp decline through day 10. Normalization of ADC values was observed at late measurements. Taken together, our study demonstrates that striatal infarction elicits delayed degenerative changes in ipsilateral substantia nigra pars compacta.
Project description:To elucidate how the motor pathways rewire the denervated tissue after stroke, we investigated remodeling of the corticospinal tract (CST) in transgenic mice with yellow fluorescent protein CST labeling in conjunction with transsynaptic pseudorabies virus retrograde tracing.Adult male CST-yellow fluorescent protein mice were subjected to permanent right middle cerebral artery occlusion (n=8/group). Foot-fault test was performed to monitor functional deficit and recovery. Pseudorabies virus tracer was injected into the left forelimb muscles at 1 or 4 weeks after middle cerebral artery occlusion (4 days before euthanasia), respectively. A third group of CST-yellow fluorescent protein mice without middle cerebral artery occlusion was used for normal control (n=6). The yellow fluorescent protein labeling of CST in the cervical cord and pseudorabies virus labeling of pyramidal neurons in the bilateral cortices were measured on vibratome sections using a confocal imaging system.Compared with normal animals, axonal density in the stroke-affected side of the cervical cord was significantly decreased at 11 days (P<0.001) and significantly increased at 32 days after stroke compared with the Day 11 values (P<0.05). Pseudorabies virus labeling was significantly decreased in the ischemic hemisphere 11 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion (P<0.001). In contrast, a significant increase was observed in pseudorabies virus labeling of bilateral cortices 32 days after stroke compared with 11 days (P<0.05). The CST axonal density in the denervated spinal cord and pyramidal neuron labeling in the bilateral cortices were significantly correlated with behavioral recovery (P<0.05).Spontaneous functional recovery after stroke may, at least in part, be attributed to neuronal remodeling in the corticospinal system.