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Elife. 2017 May 19;6. pii: e25302. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25302.

Chronic pain induces generalized enhancement of aversion.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Care and Pain Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, United States.
2
Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, United States.

Abstract

A hallmark feature of chronic pain is its ability to impact other sensory and affective experiences. It is notably associated with hypersensitivity at the site of tissue injury. It is less clear, however, if chronic pain can also induce a generalized site-nonspecific enhancement in the aversive response to nociceptive inputs. Here, we showed that chronic pain in one limb in rats increased the aversive response to acute pain stimuli in the opposite limb, as assessed by conditioned place aversion. Interestingly, neural activities in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) correlated with noxious intensities, and optogenetic modulation of ACC neurons showed bidirectional control of the aversive response to acute pain. Chronic pain, however, altered acute pain intensity representation in the ACC to increase the aversive response to noxious stimuli at anatomically unrelated sites. Thus, chronic pain can disrupt cortical circuitry to enhance the aversive experience in a generalized anatomically nonspecific manner.

KEYWORDS:

anterior cingulate cortex; aversion; coding; neuroscience; nocicpetive; pain; rat

PMID:
28524819
PMCID:
PMC5438248
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.25302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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