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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Apr 2020 - 1 May 2020


Animal Studies

2020 Apr 23

Int J Mol Sci



Attenuation of the Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls in Chronic Joint Inflammatory Pain Is Accompanied by Anxiodepressive-Like Behaviors and Impairment of the Descending Noradrenergic Modulation.


The noradrenergic system is paramount for controlling pain and emotions. We aimed at understanding the descending noradrenergic modulatory mechanisms in joint inflammatory pain and its correlation with the diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNICs) and with the onset of anxiodepressive behaviours. In the complete Freund's adjuvant rat model of Monoarthritis, nociceptive behaviors, DNICs, and anxiodepressive-like behaviors were evaluated. Spinal alpha2-adrenergic receptors (a2-AR), dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH), and noradrenaline were quantified concomitantly with a2-AR pharmacologic studies. The phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (pERK1/2) were quantified in the Locus coeruleus (LC), amygdala, and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). DNIC was attenuated at 42 days of monoarthritis while present on days 7 and 28. On day 42, in contrast to day 28, noradrenaline was reduced and DBH labelling was increased. Moreover, spinal a2-AR were potentiated and no changes in a2-AR levels were observed. Additionally, at 42 days, the activation of ERKs1/2 was increased in the LC, ACC, and basolateral amygdala. This was accompanied by anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, while at 28 days, only anxiety-like behaviors were observed. The data suggest DNIC is attenuated in prolonged chronic joint inflammatory pain, and this is accompanied by impairment of the descending noradrenergic modulation and anxiodepressive-like behaviors.