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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Jul 13

Neurosci Bull


Ventral Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons Encode Nociceptive Information.


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


As a main structure of the limbic system, the hippocampus plays a critical role in pain perception and chronicity. The ventral hippocampal CA1 (vCA1) is closely associated with negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, and fear, yet how vCA1 neurons encode nociceptive information remains unclear. Using in vivo electrophysiological recording, we characterized vCA1 pyramidal neuron subpopulations that exhibited inhibitory or excitatory responses to plantar stimuli and were implicated in encoding stimuli modalities in naïve rats. Functional heterogeneity of the vCA1 pyramidal neurons was further identified in neuropathic pain conditions: the proportion and magnitude of the inhibitory response neurons paralleled mechanical allodynia and contributed to the confounded encoding of innocuous and noxious stimuli, whereas the excitatory response neurons were still instrumental in the discrimination of stimulus properties. Increased theta power and theta-spike coupling in vCA1 correlated with nociceptive behaviors. Optogenetic inhibition of vCA1 pyramidal neurons induced mechanical allodynia in naïve rats, whereas chemogenetic reversal of the overall suppressed vCA1 activity had analgesic effects in rats with neuropathic pain. These results provide direct evidence for the representations of nociceptive information in vCA1.