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Manipulating the Level of Sensorimotor Stimulation during LI-rTMS Can Improve Visual Circuit Reorganisation in Adult Ephrin-A2A5-/- Mice

Publication year 2022
Published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Authors EZ Poh, Courtney Green, Luca Agostinelli, Marissa Penrose-Menz, Ann-Kathrin Karl, Alan R Harvey, Jennifer Rodger

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that has the potential to treat a variety of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. The extent of rTMS-induced neuroplasticity may be dependent on a subject’s brain state at the time of stimulation. Chronic low intensity rTMS (LI-rTMS) has previously been shown to induce beneficial structural and functional reorganisation within the abnormal visual circuits of ephrin-A2A5-/- mice in ambient lighting. Here, we administered chronic LI-rTMS in adult ephrin-A2A5-/- mice either in a dark environment or concurrently with voluntary locomotion. One day after the last stimulation session, optokinetic responses were assessed and fluorescent tracers were injected to map corticotectal and geniculocortical projections. We found that LI-rTMS in either treatment condition refined the geniculocortical map. Corticotectal projections were improved in locomotion+LI-rTMS subjects, but not in dark + LI-rTMS and sham groups. Visuomotor behaviour was not improved in any condition. Our results suggest that the beneficial reorganisation of abnormal visual circuits by rTMS can be significantly influenced by simultaneous, ambient visual input and is enhanced by concomitant physical exercise. Furthermore, the observed pathway-specific effects suggest that regional molecular changes and/or the relative proximity of terminals to the induced electric fields influence the outcomes of LI-rTMS on abnormal circuitry.

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