Ann Rehabil Med.  2013 Jun;37(3):301-310. 10.5535/arm.2013.37.3.301.

The Effect of Continuous Epidural Electrical Stimulation on Neuronal Proliferation in Cerebral Ischemic Rats

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Regional Cerebro-Cardiovascular Center, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea. cyang@ricres.org
  • 2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Design Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 3Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 4Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
  • 5Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
  • 6Department of Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
  • 7Department of Anatomy, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
To investigate the effect of electrical stimulation (ES) on the recovery of motor skill and neuronal cell proliferation.
METHODS
The male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with an epidural electrode over the peri-ischemic area after photothrombotic stroke in the dominant sensorimotor cortex. All rats were randomly assigned into the ES group and control group. The behavioral test of a single pellet reaching task (SPRT) and neurological examinations including the Schabitz's photothrombotic neurological score and the Menzies test were conducted for 2 weeks. After 14 days, coronal sections were obtained and immunostained for neuronal cell differentiation markers including bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN), and doublecortin (DCX).
RESULTS
On the SPRT, the motor function in paralytic forelimbs of the ES group was significantly improved. There were no significant differences in neurological examinations and neuronal cell differentiation markers except for the significantly increased number of DCX+ cells in the corpus callosum of the ES group (p<0.05). But in the ES group, the number of NeuN+ cells in the ischemic cortex and the number of NeuN+ cells and DCX+ cells in the ischemic striatum tended to increase. In the ES group, NeuN+ cells in the ischemic hemisphere and DCX+ cells and BrdU+ cells in the opposite hemisphere tended to increase compared to those in the contralateral.
CONCLUSION
The continuous epidural ES of the ischemic sensorimotor cortex induced a significant improvement in the motor function and tended to increase neural cell proliferation in the ischemic hemisphere and the neural regeneration in the opposite hemisphere.

Keyword

Cerebral ischemia; Electrical stimulation; Stroke; Cell proliferation; Motor skills
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