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Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 16;6:7660. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8660.

Deactivation of excitatory neurons in the prelimbic cortex via Cdk5 promotes pain sensation and anxiety.

Author information

1
Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience of Ministry of Education and Neuroscience, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.
2
Shenzhen Key Lab of Neuropsychiatric Modulation, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China.
3
Department of Anatomy and Histology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.
4
1] Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience of Ministry of Education and Neuroscience, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China. [2] PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.

Abstract

The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is implicated in processing sensory-discriminative and affective pain. Nonetheless, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate a role for excitatory neurons in the prelimbic cortex (PL), a sub-region of mPFC, in the regulation of pain sensation and anxiety-like behaviours. Using a chronic inflammatory pain model, we show that lesion of the PL contralateral but not ipsilateral to the inflamed paw attenuates hyperalgesia and anxiety-like behaviours in rats. Optogenetic activation of contralateral PL excitatory neurons exerts analgesic and anxiolytic effects in mice subjected to chronic pain, whereas inhibition is anxiogenic in naive mice. The intrinsic excitability of contralateral PL excitatory neurons is decreased in chronic pain rats; knocking down cyclin-dependent kinase 5 reverses this deactivation and alleviates behavioural impairments. Together, our findings provide novel insights into the role of PL excitatory neurons in the regulation of sensory and affective pain.

PMID:
26179626
PMCID:
PMC4518290
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms8660
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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