Synaptic plasticity during recovery from permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery

Diego Centonze, Silvia Rossi, Anna Tortiglione, Barbara Picconi, Chiara Prosperetti, Valentina De Chiara, Giorgio Bernardi, Paolo Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synaptic rearrangements in the peri-infarct regions are believed to contribute to the partial recovery of function that takes place after stroke. Here, we performed neurophysiological recordings from single neurons of rats with permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (pMCAO) during the resolution of their neurological deficits. Our results show that complex and dynamic changes of glutamate transmission in the peri-infarct area parallel the recovery from brain infarct. We have observed that frequency and duration of spontaneous glutamate-mediated synaptic events were markedly increased in striatal neurons during the early phase of the recovery (3 days after pMCAO), due to potentiation of both NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) and non-NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. In the late phase of recovery (7 days after pMCAO), glutamate transmission was still enhanced because of a selective facilitation of non-NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. Spiny projection neurons but not aspiny interneurons underwent detectable changes of synaptic excitability in the striatum following pMCAO, indicating that the process of neuronal adaptation after focal brain ischemia is cell-type-specific. Our results provide a synaptic correlate of the long-lasting brain hyperexcitability mediating recovery described with noninvasive neurophysiological approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • AMPA receptors
  • Brain ischemia
  • Electrophysiology
  • Glutamate
  • NMDA receptors
  • pMCAO
  • sEPSCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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