Long-Term Neuromodulatory Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on Plasmatic Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) Levels and Visuospatial Abilities in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

SOURCE: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 24(4), 2023 Feb 06.

AUTHORS: Cirillo G; Pepe R; Siciliano M; Ippolito D; Ricciardi D; de Stefano M; Buonanno D; Atripaldi D; Abbadessa S; Perfetto B; Sharbafshaaer M; Sepe G; Bonavita S; Iavarone A; Todisco V; Papa M; Tedeschi G; Esposito S; Trojsi F

ABSTRACT: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive neuromodulation technique that is used against cognitive impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the rTMS therapeutic effects are still only partially investigated. Maladaptive plasticity, glial activation, and neuroinflammation, including metalloproteases (MMPs) activation, might represent new potential targets of the neurodegenerative process and progression from MCI to AD. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of bilateral rTMS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on plasmatic levels of MMP1, -2, -9, and -10; MMPs-related tissue inhibitors TIMP1 and TIMP2; and cognitive performances in MCI patients. Patients received high-frequency (10 Hz) rTMS (MCI-TMS, n = 9) or sham stimulation (MCI-C, n = 9) daily for four weeks, and they were monitored for six months after TMS. The plasmatic levels of MMPs and TIMPs and the cognitive and behavioral scores, based on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), Beck Depression Inventory II, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Apathy Evaluation Scale, were assessed at baseline (T0) and after 1 month (T1) and 6 months (T2) since rTMS. In the MCI-TMS group, at T2, plasmatic levels of MMP1, -9, and -10 were reduced and paralleled by increased plasmatic levels of TIMP1 and TIMP2 and improvement of visuospatial performances. In conclusion, our findings suggest that targeting DLPFC by rTMS might result in the long-term modulation of the MMPs/TIMPs system in MCI patients and the neurobiological mechanisms associated with MCI progression to dementia.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9961904/