Decreased dopaminergic activity and increased kappa opioid activity in the mesolimbic system underlie the negative emotional states related to chronic pain. However, it is not known whether these changes are just consequence of chronic pain or contribute to the sensorial changes associated with chronic pain. In this study, we asked whether the mesolimbic dopamine and kappa opioid systems contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic hyperalgesia, one of the most common sensorial changes related to chronic pain. The lesion of the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area prevented the transition from acute to chronic hyperalgesia when performed in pain-free rats, but did not affect the maintenance of chronic hyperalgesia, when performed in chronic pain in rats. As hyperalgesia becomes chronic, the dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens decrease. The blockade of the kappa opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens both prevented and reversed the development of chronic hyperalgesia, but did not affect its maintenance. Complementarily, the pharmacological activation of the kappa opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens facilitated the transition from acute to chronic hyperalgesia. None of these interventions affected acute hyperalgesia. These findings suggest that the mesolimbic dopamine and kappa opioid systems specifically drive the pain chronification process, without affecting acute pain or the maintenance of chronic pain.