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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Sep 2023 - 6 Oct 2023

2023 Sep 28

Prog Neurobiol


Photic Sensitization is Mediated by Cortico-Accumbens Pathway in Rats with Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain.


Ma J, Huang X, Li Z, Wang S, Yan X, Huang D, Zhou H


Exposure to light stimuli may trigger or exacerbate perception of pain, also known as a common yet debilitating symptom of photophobia in patient with chronic orofacial pain. Mechanism underlying this phenomenon of photic sensitization in neuropathic condition remains elusive. Here, we found that rats developed hypersensitivity to normal light illumination after establishment of chronic constriction injury of infraorbital nerve (ION-CCI) model, which can be attenuated by blocking the exposure of photic stimulation. Additionally, this behavioral phenotype of light-sensitivity impairment was associated with overexpression of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) c-fos positive neurons, enhancement of neural excitability in the ACC neurons and its excitatory synaptic transmission between nucleus accumbens (NAc). Optogenetic and chemogenic silencing of ACC-NAc pathway improved trigeminal sensitization in responses to light stimuli by decreasing spontaneous pain-like episodes in ION-CCI animals. In contrast, selective activation of ACC-to-NAc circuits enhanced photic hypersensitivity in dark environment. Thus, our data provided novel role of ACC and its projection to NAc in bidirectional modulation of photic sensation, which may contribute to the understanding of photic allodynia in trigeminal neuropathic pain status.