Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is used to treat neurological diseases such as stroke and Parkinson's disease (PD). Although rTMS has been used clinically, its underlying therapeutic mechanism remains unclear. The objective of the present study was to clarify the neuroprotective effect and therapeutic mechanism of rTMS in an animal model of PD. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were unilaterally injected with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the right striatum. Rats with PD were then treated with rTMS (circular coil, 10 Hz, 20 min/day) daily for 4 weeks. Behavioral assessments such as amphetamine-induced rotational test and treadmill locomotion test were performed, and the dopaminergic (DA) neurons of substantia nigra pas compacta (SNc) and striatum were histologically examined. Expression of neurotrophic/growth factors was also investigated by multiplex ELISA, western blotting analysis and immunohistochemistry 4 weeks after rTMS application. Among the results, the number of amphetamine-induced rotations was significantly lower in the rTMS group than in the control group at 4 weeks post-treatment. Treadmill locomotion was also significantly improved in the rTMS-treated rats. Tyrosine hydroxylase-positive DA neurons and DA fibers in rTMS group rats were greater than those in untreated group in both ipsilateral SNc and striatum, respectively. The expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor were elevated in both the 6-OHDA-injected hemisphere and the SNc of the rTMS-treated rats. In conclusion, rTMS treatment improved motor functions and survival of DA neurons, suggesting that the neuroprotective effect of rTMS treatment might be induced by upregulation of neurotrophic/growth factors in the PD animal model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology
- Molecular Biology