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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 319-324

Constraint-induced movement therapy enhances AMPA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the ipsilateral hemisphere following ischemic stroke


Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Chan Chen
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai
China
Yu-Long Bai
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai
China
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Source of Support: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nos. 81871841 (to YLB) and 81601960 (to CC), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.290900

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Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) can promote the recovery of motor function in injured upper limbs following stroke, which may be associated with upregulation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) at synapses in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex in our previous study. However, AMPAR distribution is tightly regulated, and only AMPARs on the postsynaptic membrane can mediate synaptic transmission. We speculated that synaptic remodeling induced by movement-associated synaptic activity can promote functional recovery from stroke. To test this hypothesis, we compared AMPAR expression on the postsynaptic membrane surface in a rat model of ischemic stroke induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with versus without CIMT, which consisted of daily running wheel training for 2 weeks starting on day 7 after MCAO. The results showed that CIMT increased the number of glutamate receptor (GluR)2-containing functional synapses in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex, and reduced non-GluR2 AMPARs in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex and hippocampal CA3 region. In addition, CIMT enhanced AMPAR expression on the surface of post-synaptic membrane in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex and hippocampus. Thus, CIMT promotes the recovery of motor function of injured upper limbs following stroke by enhancing AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in the ischemic hemisphere. These findings provide supporting evidence for the clinical value of CIMT for restoring limb movement in stroke patients. All experimental procedures and protocols were approved by the Department of Laboratory Animal Science of Fudan University, China (approval No. 201802173S) on March 3, 2018.


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