Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation increases neurological function and endogenous neural stem cell migration via the SDF‑1α/CXCR4 axis after cerebral infarction in rats
- Yuguo Deng
- Feng Guo
- Xiaohua Han
- Xiaolin Huang
Affiliations: Department of Rehabilitation, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, P.R. China
- Published online on: July 19, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.10469
Copyright: © Deng
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Neural stem cell (NSC) migration is closely associated with brain development and is reportedly involved during recovery from ischaemic stroke. Chemokine signalling mediated by stromal cell‑derived factor 1α (SDF‑1α) and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) has been previously documented to guide the migration of NSCs. Although repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can increase neurological function in a rat stroke model, its effects on the migration of NSCs and associated underlying mechanism remain unclear. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of rTMS on ischaemic stroke following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). All rats underwent rTMS treatment 24 h after MCAO. Neurological function, using modified Neurological Severity Scores and grip strength test and NSC migration, which were measured using immunoﬂuorescence staining, were analysed at 7 and 14 days after MCAO, before the protein expression levels of the SDF‑1α/CXCR4 axis was evaluated using western blot analysis. AMD3100, a CXCR4 inhibitor, was used to assess the effects of SDF‑1α/CXCR4 signalling. In addition, neuronal survival was investigated using Nissl staining at 14 days after MCAO. It was revealed that rTMS increased the neurological recovery of rats with MCAO, facilitated the migration of NSC, augmented the expression levels of the SDF‑1α/CXCR4 axis and decreased neuronal loss. Furthermore, the rTMS‑induced positive responses were significantly abolished by AMD3100. Overall, these results indicated that rTMS conferred therapeutic neuroprotective properties, which can restore neurological function after ischaemic stroke, in a manner that may be associated with the activation of the SDF‑1α/CXCR4 axis.