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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Jan 2021 - 22 Jan 2021

Animal Studies

2021 Jan 18

Sci Rep



Dynamics of neuronal oscillations underlying nociceptive response in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex.


Iwamoto S, Tamura M, Sasaki A, Nawano M
Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 18; 11(1):1667.
PMID: 33462296.


Pain is caused by tissue injury, inflammatory disease, pathogen invasion, or neuropathy. The perception of pain is attributed to the neuronal activity in the brain. However, the dynamics of neuronal activity underlying pain perception are not fully known. Herein, we examined theta-oscillation dynamics of local field potentials in the primary somatosensory cortex of a mouse model of formalin-induced pain, which usually shows a bimodal behavioral response interposed between pain-free periods. We found that formalin injection exerted a reversible shift in the theta-peak frequency toward a slower frequency. This shift was observed during nociceptive phases but not during the pain-free period and was inversely correlated with instantaneous pain intensity. Furthermore, instantaneous oscillatory analysis indicated that the probability of slow theta oscillations increased during nociceptive phases with an association of augmented slow theta power. Finally, cross-frequency coupling between theta and gamma oscillations indicated that the coupling peak frequency of theta oscillations was also shifted toward slower oscillations without affecting coupling strength or gamma power. Together, these results suggest that the dynamic changes in theta oscillations in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex represent the ongoing status of pain sensation.