Alexander F Wyss

Université de Fribourg, Fribourg, FR, Switzerland

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Publications (10)28.35 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: How are motor maps modified within and in the immediate vicinity of a damaged zone in the motor cortex of non-human primates? Methods: In eight adult macaque monkeys subjected to a restricted chemical lesion of the hand area in the primary motor cortex (M1), motor maps were established using intracortical micro-stimulation (ICMS) techniques. The monkeys were subdivided into five animals without treatment, whereas three monkeys received an anti-Nogo-A antibody treatment. Results: Following permanent M1 injury, the lesion territory became largely non micro-excitable several months post-lesion, in spite of some recovery of hand function. Few sites within the lesion territory remained excitable, though irrespective to the degree of functional recovery. Around the lesion in M1, there was no reallocation of proximal shoulder/arm territories into distal hand functions. However, ICMS delivered at supra-threshold intensities in these proximal territories elicited digit movements. Post-lesion ICMS thresholds to elicit movements of forelimb muscle territories increased, independently from the degree of functional recovery. Further behavioural evidence for an enhancement of functional recovery promoted by the anti-Nogo-A antibody treatment is provided. Conclusion: The degree of functional recovery is not related to a reorganization of motor maps within, and in the vicinity of, a M1 lesion.
    Restorative neurology and neuroscience. 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: In relation to mechanisms involved in functional recovery of manual dexterity from cervical cord injury or from motor cortical injury, our goal was to determine whether the movements that characterize post-lesion functional recovery are comparable to original movement patterns or do monkeys adopt distinct strategies to compensate the deficits depending on the type of lesion? To this aim, data derived from earlier studies, using a skilled finger task (the modified Brinkman board from which pellets are retrieved from vertical or horizontal slots), in spinal cord and motor cortex injured monkeys were analyzed and compared. Twelve adult macaque monkeys were subjected to a hemi-section of the cervical cord (n = 6) or to a unilateral excitotoxic lesion of the hand representation in the primary motor cortex (n = 6). In addition, in each subgroup, one half of monkeys (n = 3) were treated for 30 days with a function blocking antibody against the neurite growth inhibitory protein Nogo-A, while the other half (n = 3) represented control animals. The motor deficits, and the extent and time course of functional recovery were assessed. For some of the parameters investigated (wrist angle for horizontal slots and movement types distribution for vertical slots after cervical injury; movement types distribution for horizontal slots after motor cortex lesion), post-lesion restoration of the original movement patterns ("true" recovery) led to a quantitatively better functional recovery. In the motor cortex lesion groups, pharmacological reversible inactivation experiments showed that the peri-lesion territory of the primary motor cortex or re-arranged, spared domain of the lesion zone, played a major role in the functional recovery, together with the ipsilesional intact premotor cortex.
    Frontiers in Neurology 01/2013; 4:101.
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    ABSTRACT: Following unilateral lesion of the primary motor cortex, the reorganization of callosal projections from the intact hemisphere to the ipsilesional premotor cortex (PM) was investigated in 7 adult macaque monkeys, in absence of treatment (control; n = 4) or treated with function blocking antibodies against the neurite growth inhibitory protein Nogo-A (n = 3). After functional recovery, though incomplete, the tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) was injected in the ipsilesional PM. Retrogradely labelled neurons were plotted in the intact hemisphere and their number was normalized with respect to the volume of the core of BDA injection sites. (1) The callosal projections to PM in the controls originate mainly from homotypic PM areas and, but to a somewhat lesser extent, from the mesial cortex (cingulate and supplementary motor areas). (2) In the lesioned anti-Nogo-A antibody-treated monkeys, the normalized number of callosal retrogradely labelled neurons was up to several folds higher than in controls, especially in the homotypic PM areas. (3) Except one control with a small lesion and a limited, transient deficit, the anti-Nogo-A antibody-treated monkeys recovered to nearly baseline levels of performance (73-90 %), in contrast to persistent deficits in the control monkeys. These results are consistent with a sprouting and/or sparing of callosal axons promoted by the anti-Nogo-A antibody treatment after lesion of the primary motor cortex, as compared to untreated monkeys.
    Experimental Brain Research 09/2012; · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the context of an autologous cell transplantation study, a unilateral biopsy of cortical tissue was surgically performed from the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in two intact adult macaque monkeys (dlPFC lesioned group), together with the implantation of a chronic chamber providing access to the left motor cortex. Three other monkeys were subjected to the same chronic chamber implantation, but without dlPFC biopsy (control group). All monkeys were initially trained to perform sequential manual dexterity tasks, requiring precision grip. The motor performance and the prehension's sequence (temporal order to grasp pellets from different spatial locations) were analysed for each hand. Following the surgery, transient and moderate deficits of manual dexterity per se occurred in both groups, indicating that they were not due to the dlPFC lesion (most likely related to the recording chamber implantation and/or general anaesthesia/medication). In contrast, changes of motor habit were observed for the sequential order of grasping in the two monkeys with dlPFC lesion only. The changes were more prominent in the monkey subjected to the largest lesion, supporting the notion of a specific effect of the dlPFC lesion on the motor habit of the monkeys. These observations are reminiscent of previous studies using conditional tasks with delay that have proposed a specialization of the dlPFC for visuo-spatial working memory, except that this is in a different context of "free-will", non-conditional manual dexterity task, without a component of working memory.
    Cortex 06/2012; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the arrangement of the corticospinal projection in primates is consistent with a more prominent role of the ipsilateral motor cortex on proximal muscles, rather than on distal muscles involved in manual dexterity, the role played by the primary motor cortex on the control of manual dexterity for the ipsilateral hand remains a matter a debate, either in the normal function or after a lesion. We, therefore, tested the impact of permanent unilateral motor cortex lesion on the manual dexterity of the ipsilateral hand in 11 macaque monkeys, within a time window of 60 days post-lesion. For comparison, unilateral reversible pharmacological inactivation of the motor cortex was produced in an additional monkey. Manual dexterity was assessed quantitatively based on three motor parameters derived from two reach and grasp manual tasks. In contrast to the expected dramatic, complete deficit of manual dexterity of the contralesional hand that persists for several weeks, the impact on the manual dexterity of the ipsilesional hand was generally moderate (but statistically significant) and, when present, lasted less than 20 days. Out of the 11 monkeys, only 3 showed a deficit of the ipsilesional hand for 2 of the 3 motor parameters, and 4 animals had a deficit for only one motor parameter. Four monkeys did not show any deficit. The reversible inactivation experiment yielded results consistent with the permanent lesion data. In conclusion, the primary motor cortex exerts a modest role on ipsilateral manual dexterity, most likely in the form of indirect hand postural control.
    Brain Structure and Function 05/2011; 217(1):63-79. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although cell therapy is a promising approach after cerebral cortex lesion, few studies assess quantitatively its behavioral gain in nonhuman primates. Furthermore, implantations of fetal grafts of exogenous stem cells are limited by safety and ethical issues. To test in nonhuman primates the transplantation of autologous adult neural progenitor cortical cells with assessment of functional outcome. Seven adult macaque monkeys were trained to perform a manual dexterity task, before the hand representation in motor cortex was chemically lesioned unilaterally. Five monkeys were used as control, compared with 2 monkeys subjected to different autologous cells transplantation protocols performed at different time intervals. After lesion, there was a complete loss of manual dexterity in the contralesional hand. The 5 "control" monkeys recovered progressively and spontaneously part of their manual dexterity, reaching a unique and definitive plateau of recovery, ranging from 38% to 98% of prelesion score after 10 to 120 days. The 2 "treated" monkeys reached a first spontaneous recovery plateau at about 25 and 40 days postlesion, representing 35% and 61% of the prelesion performance, respectively. In contrast to the controls, a second recovery plateau took place 2 to 3 months after cell transplantation, corresponding to an additional enhancement of functional recovery, representing 24% and 37% improvement, respectively. These pilot data, derived from 2 monkeys treated differently, suggest that, in the present experimental conditions, autologous adult brain progenitor cell transplantation in a nonhuman primate is safe and promotes enhancement of functional recovery.
    Neurosurgery 01/2011; 68(5):1405-16; discussion 1416-7. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Manual dexterity, a prerogative of primates, is under the control of the corticospinal (CS) tract. Because 90-95% of CS axons decussate, it is assumed that this control is exerted essentially on the contralateral hand. Consistently, unilateral lesion of the hand representation in the motor cortex is followed by a complete loss of dexterity of the contralesional hand. During the months following lesion, spontaneous recovery of manual dexterity takes place to a highly variable extent across subjects, although largely incomplete. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that after a significant postlesion period, manual performance in the ipsilesional hand is correlated with the extent of functional recovery in the contralesional hand. To this aim, ten adult macaque monkeys were subjected to permanent unilateral motor cortex lesion. Monkeys' manual performance was assessed for each hand during several months postlesion, using our standard behavioral test (modified Brinkman board task) that provides a quantitative measure of reach and grasp ability. The ipsilesional hand's performance was found to be significantly enhanced over the long term (100-300 days postlesion) in six of ten monkeys, with the six exhibiting the best, though incomplete, recovery of the contralesional hand. There was a statistically significant correlation (r = 0.932; P < 0.001) between performance in the ipsilesional hand after significant postlesion period and the extent of recovery of the contralesional hand. This observation is interpreted in terms of different possible mechanisms of recovery, dependent on the recruitment of motor areas in the lesioned and/or intact hemispheres.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 03/2010; 103(3):1630-45. · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Neurophysiology 01/2010; · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After sub-total hemi-section of cervical cord at level C7/C8 in monkeys, the ipsilesional hand exhibited a paralysis for a couple of weeks, followed by incomplete recovery of manual dexterity, reaching a plateau after 40-50 days. Recently, we demonstrated that the level of the plateau was related to the size of the lesion and that progressive plastic changes of the motor map in the contralesional motor cortex, particularly the hand representation, took place following a comparable time course. The goal of the present study was to assess, in three macaque monkeys, whether the hand representation in the ipsilesional primary motor cortex (M1) was also affected by the cervical hemi-section. Unexpectedly, based on the minor contribution of the ipsilesional hemisphere to the transected corticospinal (CS) tract, a considerable reduction of the hand representation was also observed in the ipsilesional M1. Mapping control experiments ruled out the possibility that changes of motor maps are due to variability of the intracortical microstimulation mapping technique. The extent of the size reduction of the hand area was nearly as large as in the contralesional hemisphere in two of the three monkeys. In the third monkey, it represented a reduction by a factor of half the change observed in the contralesional hemisphere. Although the hand representation was modified in the ipsilesional hemisphere, such changes were not correlated with a contribution of this hemisphere to the incomplete recovery of the manual dexterity for the hand affected by the lesion, as demonstrated by reversible inactivation experiments (in contrast to the contralesional hemisphere). Moreover, despite the size reduction of M1 hand area in the ipsilesional hemisphere, no deficit of manual dexterity for the hand opposite to the cervical hemi-section was detected. After cervical hemi-section, the ipsilesional motor cortex exhibited substantial reduction of the hand representation, whose extent did not match the small number of axotomized CS neurons. We hypothesized that the paradoxical reduction of hand representation in the ipsilesional hemisphere is secondary to the changes taking place in the contralesional hemisphere, possibly corresponding to postural adjustments and/or re-establishing a balance between the two hemispheres.
    BMC Neuroscience 02/2005; 6:56. · 3.00 Impact Factor