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Glia. 2019 Aug;67(8):1462-1477. doi: 10.1002/glia.23620. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Low-intensity transcranial magnetic stimulation promotes the survival and maturation of newborn oligodendrocytes in the adult mouse brain.

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Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Brain Plasticity Lab, Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.


Neuronal activity is a potent extrinsic regulator of oligodendrocyte generation and central nervous system myelination. Clinically, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is delivered to noninvasively modulate neuronal activity; however, the ability of rTMS to facilitate adaptive myelination has not been explored. By performing cre-lox lineage tracing, to follow the fate of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in the adult mouse brain, we determined that low intensity rTMS (LI-rTMS), administered as an intermittent theta burst stimulation, but not as a continuous theta burst or 10 Hz stimulation, increased the number of newborn oligodendrocytes in the adult mouse cortex. LI-rTMS did not alter oligodendrogenesis per se, but instead increased cell survival and enhanced myelination. These data suggest that LI-rTMS can be used to noninvasively promote myelin addition to the brain, which has potential implications for the treatment of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis.


adaptive myelination; cortex; internode; myelin; oligodendrocyte survival; oligodendrogenesis; transcranial magnetic stimulation


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