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Original Article

Exp Neurobiol 2020; 29(4): 300-313

Published online August 31, 2020

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Assessment of Hand Motor Function in a Non-human Primate Model of Ischemic Stroke

Jinyoung Won1†, Kyung Sik Yi2†, Chi-Hoon Choi2†, Chang-Yeop Jeon1†, Jincheol Seo1, Keonwoo Kim1,3, Hyeon-Gu Yeo1,4, Junghyung Park1, Yu Gyeong Kim1,4, Yeung Bae Jin1, Bon-Sang Koo1, Kyung Seob Lim5, Sangil Lee1, Ki Jin Kim1, Won Seok Choi1, Sung-Hyun Park1, Young-Hyun Kim1,4, Jae-Won Huh1,4, Sang-Rae Lee1,4, Sang-Hoon Cha2* and Youngjeon Lee1,4*

1National Primate Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), Cheongju 28116, 2Department of Radiology, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Cheongju 28644, 3School of Life Sciences, BK21 Plus KNU Creative BioResearch Group, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, 4Department of Functional Genomics, KRIBB School of Bioscience, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, 5Futuristic Animal Resource & Research Center, KRIBB, Cheongju 28116, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Youngjeon Lee, TEL: 82-43-240-6316, FAX: 82-43-240-6309
Sang-Hoon Cha, TEL: 82-43-269-6473, FAX: 82-43-269-6479
These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: June 11, 2020; Revised: August 7, 2020; Accepted: August 24, 2020

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License
( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Ischemic stroke results from arterial occlusion and can cause irreversible brain injury. A non-human primate (NHP) model of ischemic stroke was previously developed to investigate its pathophysiology and for efficacy testing of therapeutic candidates; however, fine motor impairment remains to be well-characterized. We evaluated hand motor function in a cynomolgus monkey model of ischemic stroke. Endovascular transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with an angiographic microcatheter induced cerebral infarction. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging mapped and measured the ischemia-induced infarct lesion. In vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the stroke lesion to assess the neuroplastic changes and fiber tractography demonstrated three-dimensional patterns in the corticospinal tract 12 weeks after MCAO. The hand dexterity task (HDT) was used to evaluate fine motor movement of upper extremity digits. The HDT was modified for a home cage-based training system, instead of conventional chair restraint training. The lesion was localized in the middle cerebral artery territory, including the sensorimotor cortex. Maximum infarct volume was exhibited over the first week after MCAO, which progressively inhibited ischemic core expansion, manifested by enhanced functional recovery of the affected hand over 12 weeks after MCAO. The total performance time decreased with increasing success rate for both hands on the HDT. Compensatory strategies and retrieval failure improved in the chronic phase after stroke. Our findings demonstrate the recovery of fine motor skill after stroke, and outline the behavioral characteristics and features of functional disorder of NHP stroke model, providing a basis for assessing hand motor function after stroke.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Dexterity, Diffusion tensor imaging, Functional recovery, Hand function, Ischemic stroke, Magnetic resonance imaging