I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Oct 2019 - 18 Oct 2019

Animal Studies

2019 Oct 08

Cell Rep



Editor's Pick

Dual and Opposing Functions of the Central Amygdala in the Modulation of Pain.


Wilson TD, Valdivia S, Khan A, Ahn H-S, Adke AP, Gonzalez S M, Sugimura YK, Carrasquillo Y
Cell Rep. 2019 Oct 08; 29(2):332-346.e5.
PMID: 31597095.


Pain perception is essential for survival and can be amplified or suppressed by expectations, experiences, and context. The neural mechanisms underlying bidirectional modulation of pain remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) functions as a pain rheostat, decreasing or increasing pain-related behaviors in mice. This dual and opposing function of the CeA is encoded by opposing changes in the excitability of two distinct subpopulations of GABAergic neurons that receive excitatory inputs from the parabrachial nucleus (PB). Thus, cells expressing protein kinase C-delta (CeA-PKCδ) are sensitized by nerve injury and increase pain-related responses. In contrast, cells expressing somatostatin (CeA-Som) are inhibited by nerve injury and their activity drives antinociception. Together, these results demonstrate that the CeA can amplify or suppress pain in a cell-type-specific manner, uncovering a previously unknown mechanism underlying bidirectional control of pain in the brain.