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Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2017;35(2):137-146. doi: 10.3233/RNN-160689.

Repeated anodal transcranial direct current stimulation induces neural plasticity-associated gene expression in the rat cortex and hippocampus.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Iksan, South Korea.
2
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Medical Center, Georg-August-University, Goettingen, Germany.
3
Leibniz Research Center for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
5
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Prevention and Rehabilitation, Heart Vascular Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
6
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, South Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS) induces a long-lasting increase in cortical excitability that can increase gene transcription in the brain.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of genes related to activity-dependent neuronal plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex and hippocampus of young Sprague-Dawley rats following A-tDCS.

METHODS:

We applied A-tDCS over the right sensorimotor cortex epicranially with a circular electrode (3 mm diameter) at 250 μA for 20 min per day for 7 consecutive days. Levels of mRNA for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), synapsin I, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc), and c-Fos were analyzed using SYBR Green quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

RESULTS:

We found that 7 days of unilateral A-tDCS resulted in significant increases in transcription of all plasticity-related genes tested in the ipsilateral cortex. Daily A-tDCS also resulted in a significant increase in c-Fos mRNA in the ipsilateral hippocampus.

CONCLUSION:

These results indicate that altered expression of plasticity-associated genes in the cortex and hippocampus is a molecular substrate of A-tDCS-induced neural plasticity.

KEYWORDS:

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation; immediate-early genes; somatosensory cortex; synaptic plasticity-related genes

PMID:
28059801
DOI:
10.3233/RNN-160689
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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