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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Feb 2021 - 12 Feb 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Feb 06

Handb Exp Pharmacol

Editor's Pick

Kappa Opioid Signaling at the Crossroads of Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction.


Cahill CM, Lueptow L, Kim H, Shusharla R, Bishop A, Evans CJ
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2021 Feb 06.
PMID: 33547588.


Pain is complex and is a unique experience for individuals in that no two people will have exactly the same physiological and emotional response to the same noxious stimulus or injury. Pain is composed of two essential processes: a sensory component that allows for discrimination of the intensity and location of a painful stimulus and an emotional component that underlies the affective, motivational, unpleasant, and aversive response to a painful stimulus. Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) activation in the periphery and throughout the neuroaxis modulates both of these components of the pain experience. In this chapter we focus on recent findings that KORs contribute to the emotional, aversive nature of chronic pain, including how expression in the limbic circuitry contributes to anhedonic states and components of opioid misuse disorder. While the primary focus is on preclinical pain models, we also highlight clinical or human research where there is strong evidence for KOR involvement in negative affective states associated with chronic pain and opioid misuse.