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Presynaptic actions of transcranial and local direct current stimulation in the red nucleus

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Marcin Baczyk
Elzbieta Jankowska
Publicerad i Journal of Physiology
Volym 592
Nummer/häfte Pt 19
Sidor 4313-28
ISSN 0022-3751
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi
Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för fysiologi
Sidor 4313-28
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2014.27...
Ämneskategorier Medicinska grundvetenskaper


The main aim of the present study was to examine to what extent long-lasting subcortical actions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) may be related to its presynaptic actions. This was investigated in the red nucleus, where tDCS was recently demonstrated to facilitate transmission between interpositorubral and rubrospinal neurons. Changes in the excitability of preterminal axonal branches of interpositorubral neurons close to rubrospinal neurons were investigated during and after tDCS (0.2 mA) applied over the sensorimotor cortical area in deeply anaesthetized rats and cats. As a measure of the excitability, we used the probability of antidromic activation of individual interpositorubral neurons by electrical stimuli applied in the red nucleus. Our second aim was to compare effects of weak (≤1 μA) direct current applied within the red nucleus with effects of tDCS to allow the use of local depolarization in a further analysis of mechanisms of tDCS instead of widespread and more difficult to control depolarization evoked by distant electrodes. Local cathodal polarization was found to replicate all effects of cathodal tDCS hitherto demonstrated in the rat, including long-lasting facilitation of trans-synaptically evoked descending volleys and trisynaptically evoked EMG responses in neck muscles. It also replicated all effects of anodal tDCS in the cat. In both species, it increased the excitability of preterminal axonal branches of interpositorubral neurons up to 1 h post-tDCS. Local anodal polarization evoked opposite effects. We thus show that presynaptic actions of polarizing direct current may contribute to both immediate and prolonged effects of tDCS. © 2014 The Physiological Society.

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