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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Jan 2024 - 12 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 05

Neurosci Bull


Dynamic Changes of the Infralimbic Cortex and Its Regulation of the Prelimbic Cortex in Rats with Chronic Inflammatory Pain.


Ma L, Yue L, Liu S, Zhang Y, Zhang M, Cui S, Liu FY, Yi M, Wan Y


The prelimbic cortex (PL) is actively engaged in pain modulation. The infralimbic cortex (IL) has been reported to regulate the PL. However, how this regulation affects pain remains unclear. In the present study, we recorded temporary hyper-activity of PL pyramidal neurons responding to nociceptive stimuli, but a temporary hypo-function of the IL by in vivo electrophysiological recording in rats with peripheral inflammation. Manipulation of the PL or IL had opposite effects on thermal hyperalgesia. Furthermore, the functional connectivity and chemogenetic regulation between the subregions indicated an inhibitory influence of the IL on the PL. Activation of the pathway from the IL to the PL alleviated thermal hyperalgesia, whereas its inhibition exacerbated chronic pain. Overall, our results suggest a new mechanism underlying the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in chronic pain: hypo-function of the IL leads to hyperactivity of the PL, which regulates thermal hyperalgesia, and thus contributes to the chronicity of pain.