Forelimb amputation-induced reorganization in the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in rat forepaw barrel subfield (FBS)

Cheng X. Li, Tyson D. Chappell, John T. Ramshur, Robert Waters

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Abstract

In this study, we examined the role of the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) as a possible substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in the forepaw barrel subfield (FBS) of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that follows forelimb amputation. Previously, we reported that, 6 weeks after forelimb amputation in young adult rats, new input from the shoulder becomes expressed throughout the FBS that quite likely has a subcortical origin. Subsequent examination of the cuneate nucleus (CN) 1 to 30 weeks following forelimb amputation showed that CN played an insignificant role in cortical reorganization and led to the present investigation of VPL. As a first step, we used electrophysiological recordings in forelimb intact adult rats (n=8) to map the body representation in VPL with particular emphasis on the forepaw and shoulder representations and showed that VPL was somatotopically organized. We next used stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n = 5) and examined the pattern of projection (a) from the forelimb and shoulder to SI, (b) from the forepaw and shoulder to VPL, and (c) from sites in the forepaw and shoulder representation in VPL to forelimb and shoulder sites in SI. The results showed that the projections were narrowly focused and homotopic. Electrophysiological recordings were then used to map the former forepaw representation in forelimb amputated young adult rats (n = 5) at 7 to 24 weeks after amputation. At each time period, new input from the shoulder was observed in the deafferented forepaw region in VPL. To determine whether the new shoulder input in the deafferented forepaw VPL projected to a new shoulder site in the deafferented FBS, we examined the thalamocortical pathway in 2 forelimb-amputated rats. Stimulation of a new shoulder site in deafferented FBS antidromically-activated a cell in the former forepaw territory in VPL; however, similar stimulation from a site in the original shoulder representation, outside the deafferented region, in SI did not activate cells in the former forepaw VPL. These results suggest that the new shoulder input in deafferented FBS is relayed from cells in the former forepaw region in VPL. In the last step, we used anatomical tracing and stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n=9) to examine the cuneothalamic pathway from shoulder and forepaw receptive field zones in CN to determine whether projections from the shoulder zone might provide a possible source of shoulder input to forepaw VPL. Injection of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into physiologically identified shoulder responsive sites in CN densely labeled axon terminals in the shoulder representation in VPL, but also gave off small collateral branches into forepaw VPL. In addition, microstimulation delivered to forepaw VPL antidromically- Activated cells in shoulder receptive field sites in CN. These results suggest that forepaw VPL also receives input from shoulder receptive sites in CN that are latent or subthreshold in forelimb intact rats. However, we speculate that following amputation these latent shoulder inputs become expressed, possibly as a down-regulation of GABA inhibition from the reticular nucleus (RTN). These results, taken together, suggest that VPL provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization that follows forelimb amputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-108
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Research
Volume1583
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Ventral Thalamic Nuclei
Forelimb
Amputation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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Forelimb amputation-induced reorganization in the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in rat forepaw barrel subfield (FBS). / Li, Cheng X.; Chappell, Tyson D.; Ramshur, John T.; Waters, Robert.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1583, No. 1, 01.01.2014, p. 89-108.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Forelimb amputation-induced reorganization in the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in rat forepaw barrel subfield (FBS)",
abstract = "In this study, we examined the role of the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) as a possible substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in the forepaw barrel subfield (FBS) of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that follows forelimb amputation. Previously, we reported that, 6 weeks after forelimb amputation in young adult rats, new input from the shoulder becomes expressed throughout the FBS that quite likely has a subcortical origin. Subsequent examination of the cuneate nucleus (CN) 1 to 30 weeks following forelimb amputation showed that CN played an insignificant role in cortical reorganization and led to the present investigation of VPL. As a first step, we used electrophysiological recordings in forelimb intact adult rats (n=8) to map the body representation in VPL with particular emphasis on the forepaw and shoulder representations and showed that VPL was somatotopically organized. We next used stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n = 5) and examined the pattern of projection (a) from the forelimb and shoulder to SI, (b) from the forepaw and shoulder to VPL, and (c) from sites in the forepaw and shoulder representation in VPL to forelimb and shoulder sites in SI. The results showed that the projections were narrowly focused and homotopic. Electrophysiological recordings were then used to map the former forepaw representation in forelimb amputated young adult rats (n = 5) at 7 to 24 weeks after amputation. At each time period, new input from the shoulder was observed in the deafferented forepaw region in VPL. To determine whether the new shoulder input in the deafferented forepaw VPL projected to a new shoulder site in the deafferented FBS, we examined the thalamocortical pathway in 2 forelimb-amputated rats. Stimulation of a new shoulder site in deafferented FBS antidromically-activated a cell in the former forepaw territory in VPL; however, similar stimulation from a site in the original shoulder representation, outside the deafferented region, in SI did not activate cells in the former forepaw VPL. These results suggest that the new shoulder input in deafferented FBS is relayed from cells in the former forepaw region in VPL. In the last step, we used anatomical tracing and stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n=9) to examine the cuneothalamic pathway from shoulder and forepaw receptive field zones in CN to determine whether projections from the shoulder zone might provide a possible source of shoulder input to forepaw VPL. Injection of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into physiologically identified shoulder responsive sites in CN densely labeled axon terminals in the shoulder representation in VPL, but also gave off small collateral branches into forepaw VPL. In addition, microstimulation delivered to forepaw VPL antidromically- Activated cells in shoulder receptive field sites in CN. These results suggest that forepaw VPL also receives input from shoulder receptive sites in CN that are latent or subthreshold in forelimb intact rats. However, we speculate that following amputation these latent shoulder inputs become expressed, possibly as a down-regulation of GABA inhibition from the reticular nucleus (RTN). These results, taken together, suggest that VPL provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization that follows forelimb amputation.",
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N2 - In this study, we examined the role of the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) as a possible substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in the forepaw barrel subfield (FBS) of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that follows forelimb amputation. Previously, we reported that, 6 weeks after forelimb amputation in young adult rats, new input from the shoulder becomes expressed throughout the FBS that quite likely has a subcortical origin. Subsequent examination of the cuneate nucleus (CN) 1 to 30 weeks following forelimb amputation showed that CN played an insignificant role in cortical reorganization and led to the present investigation of VPL. As a first step, we used electrophysiological recordings in forelimb intact adult rats (n=8) to map the body representation in VPL with particular emphasis on the forepaw and shoulder representations and showed that VPL was somatotopically organized. We next used stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n = 5) and examined the pattern of projection (a) from the forelimb and shoulder to SI, (b) from the forepaw and shoulder to VPL, and (c) from sites in the forepaw and shoulder representation in VPL to forelimb and shoulder sites in SI. The results showed that the projections were narrowly focused and homotopic. Electrophysiological recordings were then used to map the former forepaw representation in forelimb amputated young adult rats (n = 5) at 7 to 24 weeks after amputation. At each time period, new input from the shoulder was observed in the deafferented forepaw region in VPL. To determine whether the new shoulder input in the deafferented forepaw VPL projected to a new shoulder site in the deafferented FBS, we examined the thalamocortical pathway in 2 forelimb-amputated rats. Stimulation of a new shoulder site in deafferented FBS antidromically-activated a cell in the former forepaw territory in VPL; however, similar stimulation from a site in the original shoulder representation, outside the deafferented region, in SI did not activate cells in the former forepaw VPL. These results suggest that the new shoulder input in deafferented FBS is relayed from cells in the former forepaw region in VPL. In the last step, we used anatomical tracing and stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n=9) to examine the cuneothalamic pathway from shoulder and forepaw receptive field zones in CN to determine whether projections from the shoulder zone might provide a possible source of shoulder input to forepaw VPL. Injection of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into physiologically identified shoulder responsive sites in CN densely labeled axon terminals in the shoulder representation in VPL, but also gave off small collateral branches into forepaw VPL. In addition, microstimulation delivered to forepaw VPL antidromically- Activated cells in shoulder receptive field sites in CN. These results suggest that forepaw VPL also receives input from shoulder receptive sites in CN that are latent or subthreshold in forelimb intact rats. However, we speculate that following amputation these latent shoulder inputs become expressed, possibly as a down-regulation of GABA inhibition from the reticular nucleus (RTN). These results, taken together, suggest that VPL provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization that follows forelimb amputation.

AB - In this study, we examined the role of the ventral posterior lateral nucleus (VPL) as a possible substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization in the forepaw barrel subfield (FBS) of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) that follows forelimb amputation. Previously, we reported that, 6 weeks after forelimb amputation in young adult rats, new input from the shoulder becomes expressed throughout the FBS that quite likely has a subcortical origin. Subsequent examination of the cuneate nucleus (CN) 1 to 30 weeks following forelimb amputation showed that CN played an insignificant role in cortical reorganization and led to the present investigation of VPL. As a first step, we used electrophysiological recordings in forelimb intact adult rats (n=8) to map the body representation in VPL with particular emphasis on the forepaw and shoulder representations and showed that VPL was somatotopically organized. We next used stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n = 5) and examined the pattern of projection (a) from the forelimb and shoulder to SI, (b) from the forepaw and shoulder to VPL, and (c) from sites in the forepaw and shoulder representation in VPL to forelimb and shoulder sites in SI. The results showed that the projections were narrowly focused and homotopic. Electrophysiological recordings were then used to map the former forepaw representation in forelimb amputated young adult rats (n = 5) at 7 to 24 weeks after amputation. At each time period, new input from the shoulder was observed in the deafferented forepaw region in VPL. To determine whether the new shoulder input in the deafferented forepaw VPL projected to a new shoulder site in the deafferented FBS, we examined the thalamocortical pathway in 2 forelimb-amputated rats. Stimulation of a new shoulder site in deafferented FBS antidromically-activated a cell in the former forepaw territory in VPL; however, similar stimulation from a site in the original shoulder representation, outside the deafferented region, in SI did not activate cells in the former forepaw VPL. These results suggest that the new shoulder input in deafferented FBS is relayed from cells in the former forepaw region in VPL. In the last step, we used anatomical tracing and stimulation and recording techniques in forelimb intact rats (n=9) to examine the cuneothalamic pathway from shoulder and forepaw receptive field zones in CN to determine whether projections from the shoulder zone might provide a possible source of shoulder input to forepaw VPL. Injection of biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into physiologically identified shoulder responsive sites in CN densely labeled axon terminals in the shoulder representation in VPL, but also gave off small collateral branches into forepaw VPL. In addition, microstimulation delivered to forepaw VPL antidromically- Activated cells in shoulder receptive field sites in CN. These results suggest that forepaw VPL also receives input from shoulder receptive sites in CN that are latent or subthreshold in forelimb intact rats. However, we speculate that following amputation these latent shoulder inputs become expressed, possibly as a down-regulation of GABA inhibition from the reticular nucleus (RTN). These results, taken together, suggest that VPL provides a substrate for large-scale cortical reorganization that follows forelimb amputation.

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