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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Dec 2019 - 20 Dec 2019

Animal Studies


Front Neural Circuits


Visualization of Brain Activity in a Neuropathic Pain Model Using Quantitative Activity-Dependent Manganese Magnetic Resonance Imaging.


Inami C, Tanihira H, Kikuta S, Ogasawara O, Sobue K, Kume K, Osanai M, Ohsawa M
Front Neural Circuits. 2019; 13:74.
PMID: 31849617.


Human brain imaging studies have revealed several regions that are activated in patients with chronic pain. In rodent brains, functional changes due to chronic pain have not been fully elucidated, as brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET) require the use of anesthesia to suppress movement. Consequently, conclusions derived from existing imaging studies in rodents may not accurately reflect brain activity under awake conditions. In this study, we used quantitative activation-induced manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging to directly capture the previous brain activity of awake mice. We also observed and quantified the brain activity of the spared nerve injury (SNI) neuropathic pain model during awake conditions. SNI-operated mice exhibited a robust decrease of mechanical nociceptive threshold 14 days after nerve injury. Imaging on SNI-operated mice revealed increased neural activity in the limbic system and secondary somatosensory, sensory-motor, piriform, and insular cortex. We present the first study demonstrating a direct measurement of awake neural activity in a neuropathic pain mouse model.