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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Nov 2023 - 17 Nov 2023

2023 Oct 31



Parabrachial Calca neurons drive nociplasticity.


Condon LF, Yu Y, Park S, Cao F, Pauli JL, Nelson TS, Palmiter RD


Pain that persists beyond the time required for tissue healing and pain that arises in the absence of tissue injury are poorly understood phenomena mediated by plasticity within the central nervous system. The parabrachial nucleus (PBN) is a hub that relays aversive sensory information and appears to play a role in nociplasticity. Here, by preventing PBN neurons from releasing neurotransmitter or directly stimulating them we demonstrate that activation of neurons is both necessary for the manifestation of chronic pain after nerve ligation and is sufficient to drive nociplasticity in wild-type mice. Aversive stimuli such as exposure to nitroglycerin, cisplatin, or LiCl can drive nociplasticity in a -neuron-dependent manner. Calcium fluorescence imaging reveals that nitroglycerin activates PBN neurons and potentiates their responses to mechanical stimulation. The activity and excitability of neurons increased for several days after aversive events, but prolonged nociplasticity likely occurs in downstream circuitry.