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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024

2024 Feb 28



A parabrachial hub for the prioritization of survival behavior.


Goldstein N, Maes A, Allen HN, Nelson TS, Kruger KA, Kindel M, Smith NK, Carty JRE, Villari RE, Cho E, Marble EL, Khanna R, Taylor BK, Kennedy A, Betley JN


Long-term sustained pain in the absence of acute physical injury is a prominent feature of chronic pain conditions. While neurons responding to noxious stimuli have been identified, understanding the signals that persist without ongoing painful stimuli remains a challenge. Using an ethological approach based on the prioritization of adaptive survival behaviors, we determined that neuropeptide Y (NPY) signaling from multiple sources converges on parabrachial neurons expressing the NPY Y1 receptor to reduce sustained pain responses. Neural activity recordings and computational modeling demonstrate that activity in Y1R parabrachial neurons is elevated following injury, predicts functional coping behavior, and is inhibited by competing survival needs. Taken together, our findings suggest that parabrachial Y1 receptor-expressing neurons are a critical hub for endogenous analgesic pathways that suppress sustained pain states.