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Open AccessArticle

Electrical Stimulation of the Mesencephalic Locomotor Region Attenuates Neuronal Loss and Cytokine Expression in the Perifocal Region of Photothrombotic Stroke in Rats

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092341
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroinflammation and Cell Death)
Deep brain stimulation of the mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) improves the motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and experimental stroke by intervening in the motor cerebral network. Whether high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the MLR is involved in non-motor processes, such as neuroprotection and inflammation in the area surrounding the photothrombotic lesion, has not been elucidated. This study evaluates whether MLR-HFS exerts an anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effect on the border zone of cerebral photothrombotic stroke. Rats underwent photothrombotic stroke of the right sensorimotor cortex and the implantation of a microelectrode into the ipsilesional MLR. After intervention, either HFS or sham stimulation of the MLR was applied for 24 h. The infarct volumes were calculated from consecutive brain sections. Neuronal apoptosis was analyzed by TUNEL staining. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry determined the perilesional inflammatory response. Neuronal apoptosis was significantly reduced in the ischemic penumbra after MLR-HFS, whereas the infarct volumes did not differ between the groups. MLR-HFS significantly reduced the release of cytokines and chemokines within the ischemic penumbra. MLR-HFS is neuroprotective and it reduces pro-inflammatory mediators in the area that surrounds the photothrombotic stroke without changing the number of immune cells, which indicates that MLR-HFS enables the function of inflammatory cells to be altered on a molecular level. View Full-Text
Keywords: photothrombotic stroke; deep brain stimulation; mesencephalic locomotor region; neuroprotection; neuronal apoptosis; neuroinflammation photothrombotic stroke; deep brain stimulation; mesencephalic locomotor region; neuroprotection; neuronal apoptosis; neuroinflammation
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Schuhmann, M.K.; Stoll, G.; Bohr, A.; Volkmann, J.; Fluri, F. Electrical Stimulation of the Mesencephalic Locomotor Region Attenuates Neuronal Loss and Cytokine Expression in the Perifocal Region of Photothrombotic Stroke in Rats. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2341.

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