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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Feb 2024 - 16 Feb 2024

2024 Jan 31



Editor's Pick

Anterior cingulate cortex projections to the dorsal medial striatum underlie insomnia associated with chronic pain.


Li YD, Luo YJ, Su WK, Ge J, Crowther A, Chen ZK, Wang L, Lazarus M, Liu ZL, Qu WM, Huang ZL


Chronic pain often leads to the development of sleep disturbances. However, the precise neural circuit mechanisms responsible for sleep disorders in chronic pain have remained largely unknown. Here, we present compelling evidence that hyperactivity of pyramidal neurons (PNs) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) drives insomnia in a mouse model of nerve-injury-induced chronic pain. After nerve injury, ACC PNs displayed spontaneous hyperactivity selectively in periods of insomnia. We then show that ACC PNs were both necessary for developing chronic-pain-induced insomnia and sufficient to mimic sleep loss in naive mice. Importantly, combining optogenetics and electrophysiological recordings, we found that the ACC projection to the dorsal medial striatum (DMS) underlies chronic-pain-induced insomnia through enhanced activity and plasticity of ACC-DMS dopamine D1R neuron synapses. Our findings shed light on the pivotal role of ACC PNs in developing chronic-pain-induced sleep disorders.