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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 12

Neurobiol Dis


Contribution of activating lateral hypothalamus-lateral habenula circuit to nerve trauma-induced neuropathic pain in mice.


Gu HW, Zhang GF, Liu PM, Pan WT, Tao YX, Zhou ZQ, Yang JJ


Neuropathic pain, a severe clinical symptom, significantly affects the quality of life in the patients. The molecular mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain have been the focus of research in recent decades; however, the neuronal circuit-mediated mechanisms associated with this disorder remain poorly understood. Here, we report that a projection from the lateral hypothalamus (LH) glutamatergic neurons to the lateral habenula (LHb), an excitatory LH-LHb neuronal circuit, participates in nerve injury-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity. LH glutamatergic neurons are activated and display enhanced responses to normally non-noxious stimuli following chronic constriction injury. Chemogenetic inhibition of LH glutamatergic neurons or excitatory LH-LHb circuit blocked CCI-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity. Activation of the LH-LHb circuit led to augmented responses to mechanical and thermal stimuli in mice without nerve injury. These findings suggest that LH neurons and their triggered LH-LHb circuit participate in central mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain and may be the targets for the treatment of this disorder.