Xin Yu1, Stephen J. Dodd1, Seungsoo Chung1, John Isaac1, Judith R. Walters1, Alan P. Koretsky1
Interhemispheric plasticity may play a critical role during functional restoration following central/peripheral nervous system injuries in humans. Previously, the interhemispheric plasticity in the rat somatosensory cortex (S1) following forepaw unilateral denervation has been studied in order to develop rodent models of plasticity detected in humans by fMRI. Here, the effects of unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) to rat whisker responses were studied. Large ipsilateral fMRI activation was detected after IO. In addition, BOLD signals in the contralateral barrel cortex were significantly increased. This indicates that the unilateral IO caused plasticity of the whisker-barrel cortex ascending pathways and increased interhemispheric interactions.