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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Feb 2023 - 10 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology

Orofacial/Head Pain

2023 Feb 01

Behav Pharmacol




Involvement of dopaminergic system in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in modulating the orofacial pain-related behaviors in the rats.


Haghparast A, Yousefpour M, Rashvand M, Ghahari L, Rohani B, Haghparast A


Chemical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) induces analgesia by forming neural circuitries with multiple brain regions. The involvement of hippocampal dopaminergic receptors in the LH stimulation-induced antinociception in specific pain models in animals has been documented. However, because the neural circuitries involved in the mediation of orofacial pain are not the same as those that mediate the other types of pain, the present study aims to detect the role of dopamine receptors within the dentate gyrus (DG) in the antinociceptive responses induced by LH stimulation in an animal model of orofacial pain. Male Wistar rats (220-250 g) were implanted with two separate cannulae into the LH and DG on the same side. D1- or D2-like dopamine receptor antagonist, SCH23390, or sulpiride (0.25, 1, and 4 μg) were microinjected into the DG, five minutes before intra-LH injection of carbachol (250 nM). The animals were then injected with formalin 1% (50 μL; sc) into the upper lip lateral to the nose and subjected to the orofacial formalin test. Intra-DG administration of SCH23390 or sulpiride attenuated the antinociceptive responses induced by intra-LH microinjection of carbachol during the orofacial formalin test. The findings of the current study suggest that chemical stimulation of the LH modulates orofacial pain, possibly through activation of the DG dopaminergic neurons. Due to the high incidence and prevalence of orofacial pain in the general population, understanding how such neuronal circuitry modulates nociceptive processing will advance the search for novel therapeutics.