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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Jul 2022 - 22 Jul 2022


Animal Studies

2022 Jul 08




Editor's Pick

Sound induces analgesia through corticothalamic circuits.


Zhou W, Ye C, Wang H, Mao Y, Zhang W, Liu A, Yang C-L, Li T, Hayashi L, Zhao W, Chen L, Liu Y, Tao W, Zhang Z
Science. 2022 Jul 08; 377(6602):198-204.
PMID: 35857536.


Sound-including music and noise-can relieve pain in humans, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain unknown. We discovered that analgesic effects of sound depended on a low (5-decibel) signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) relative to ambient noise in mice. Viral tracing, microendoscopic calcium imaging, and multitetrode recordings in freely moving mice showed that low-SNR sounds inhibited glutamatergic inputs from the auditory cortex (ACx) to the thalamic posterior (PO) and ventral posterior (VP) nuclei. Optogenetic or chemogenetic inhibition of the ACx→PO and ACx→VP circuits mimicked the low-SNR sound-induced analgesia in inflamed hindpaws and forepaws, respectively. Artificial activation of these two circuits abolished the sound-induced analgesia. Our study reveals the corticothalamic circuits underlying sound-promoted analgesia by deciphering the role of the auditory system in pain processing.