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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Oct 2019 - 1 Nov 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Oct 25

Sci Rep



Peripheral Nerve Ligation Elicits Widespread Alterations in Cortical Sensory Evoked and Spontaneous Activity.


Ashby DM, LeDue J, Murphy TH, McGirr A
Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 25; 9(1):15341.
PMID: 31653941.


Peripheral neuropathies result in adaptation in primary sensory and other regions of cortex, and provide a framework for understanding the localized and widespread adaptations that arise from altered sensation. Mesoscale cortical imaging achieves high temporal resolution of activity using optical sensors of neuronal activity to simultaneously image across a wide expanse of cortex and capture this adaptation using sensory-evoked and spontaneous cortical activity. Saphenous nerve ligation in mouse is an animal model of peripheral neuropathy that produces hyperalgesia circumscribed to the hindlimb. We performed saphenous nerve ligation or sham, followed by mesoscale cortical imaging using voltage sensitive dye (VSD) after ten days. We utilized subcutaneous electrical stimulation at multiple stimulus intensities to characterize sensory responses after ligation or sham, and acquired spontaneous activity to characterize functional connectivity and large scale cortical network reorganization. Relative to sham animals, the primary sensory-evoked response to hindlimb stimulation in ligated animals was unaffected in magnitude at all stimulus intensities. However, we observed a diminished propagating wave of cortical activity at lower stimulus intensities in ligated animals after hindlimb, but not forelimb, sensory stimulation. We simultaneously observed a widespread decrease in cortical functional connectivity, where midline association regions appeared most affected. These results are consistent with localized and broad alterations in intracortical connections in response to a peripheral insult, with implications for novel circuit level understanding and intervention for peripheral neuropathies and other conditions affecting sensation.