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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Dec 2023 - 15 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 09

Commun Biol




Activation of the glutamatergic cingulate cortical-cortical connection facilitates pain in adult mice.


Li XH, Shi W, Chen QY, Hao S, Miao HH, Miao Z, Xu F, Bi GQ, Zhuo M


The brain consists of the left and right cerebral hemispheres and both are connected by callosal projections. Less is known about the basic mechanism of this cortical-cortical connection and its functional importance. Here we investigate the cortical-cortical connection between the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) by using the classic electrophysiological and optogenetic approach. We find that there is a direct synaptic projection from one side ACC to the contralateral ACC. Glutamate is the major excitatory transmitter for bilateral ACC connection, including projections to pyramidal cells in superficial (II/III) and deep (V/VI) layers of the ACC. Both AMPA and kainate receptors contribute to synaptic transmission. Repetitive stimulation of the projection also evoked postsynaptic Ca influx in contralateral ACC pyramidal neurons. Behaviorally, light activation of the ACC-ACC connection facilitated behavioral withdrawal responses to mechanical stimuli and noxious heat. In an animal model of neuropathic pain, light inhibitory of ACC-ACC connection reduces both primary and secondary hyperalgesia. Our findings provide strong direct evidence for the excitatory or facilitatory contribution of ACC-ACC connection to pain perception, and this mechanism may provide therapeutic targets for future treatment of chronic pain and related emotional disorders.