Maurits P.A. van Meer1,2, Wim M. Otte1,3, Kajo van der Marel1, Jan W. Berkelbach van der Sprenkel2, Rick M. Dijkhuizen1
1Biomedical MR Imaging and Spectroscopy group, Image Sciences Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Department of Neurosurgery, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Utrecht, Netherlands; 3Department of Neurology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Utrecht, Netherlands
Reorganization of neuronal networks may effectively constitute spontaneous functional recovery after stroke. However, the association between structural and functional remodelling in post-stroke brain remains unclear. In this study we combined resting-state fMRI with manganese-enhanced MRI to elucidate the relationship between functional and structural brain connectivity in presumably reorganized contralesional brain tissue in rats that have recovered from experimental unilateral stroke. We detected increased uptake of the neuroanatomical tracer manganese in the contralesional sensorimotor cortex that was significantly correlated with enhanced functional connectivity within this region. Our data suggest that improved neuroanatomical connectivity underlies enhancement of functional connectivity in reorganizing neuronal networks after stroke.