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      Plasticity changes in forebrain activity and functional connectivity during neuropathic pain development in rats with sciatic spared nerve injury

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          Abstract

          Neuropathic pain is a major worldwide health problem. Although central sensitization has been reported in well-established neuropathic conditions, information on the acute brain activation patterns in response to peripheral nerve injury is lacking. This study first mapped the brain activity in rats immediately following spared nerve injury (SNI) of the sciatic nerve. Using blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI), we observed sustained activation in the bilateral insular cortices (ICs), primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and cingulate cortex. Second, this study sought to link this sustained activation pattern with brain sensitization. Using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI), we observed enhanced activity in the ipsilateral anterior IC (AIC) in free-moving SNI rats on Days 1 and 8 post-SNI. Furthermore, enhanced functional connectivity between the ipsilateral AIC, bilateral rostral AIC, and S1 was observed on Day 8 post-SNI. Chronic electrophysiological recording experiments were conducted to confirm the tonic neuronal activation in selected brain regions. Our data provide evidence of tonic activation-dependent brain sensitization during neuropathic pain development and offer evidence that the plasticity changes in the IC and S1 may contribute to neuropathic pain development.

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          Most cited references 73

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          Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body.

          Converging evidence indicates that primates have a distinct cortical image of homeostatic afferent activity that reflects all aspects of the physiological condition of all tissues of the body. This interoceptive system, associated with autonomic motor control, is distinct from the exteroceptive system (cutaneous mechanoreception and proprioception) that guides somatic motor activity. The primary interoceptive representation in the dorsal posterior insula engenders distinct highly resolved feelings from the body that include pain, temperature, itch, sensual touch, muscular and visceral sensations, vasomotor activity, hunger, thirst, and 'air hunger'. In humans, a meta-representation of the primary interoceptive activity is engendered in the right anterior insula, which seems to provide the basis for the subjective image of the material self as a feeling (sentient) entity, that is, emotional awareness.
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            Descending control of pain.

             Mark J Millan (2002)
            Upon receipt in the dorsal horn (DH) of the spinal cord, nociceptive (pain-signalling) information from the viscera, skin and other organs is subject to extensive processing by a diversity of mechanisms, certain of which enhance, and certain of which inhibit, its transfer to higher centres. In this regard, a network of descending pathways projecting from cerebral structures to the DH plays a complex and crucial role. Specific centrifugal pathways either suppress (descending inhibition) or potentiate (descending facilitation) passage of nociceptive messages to the brain. Engagement of descending inhibition by the opioid analgesic, morphine, fulfils an important role in its pain-relieving properties, while induction of analgesia by the adrenergic agonist, clonidine, reflects actions at alpha(2)-adrenoceptors (alpha(2)-ARs) in the DH normally recruited by descending pathways. However, opioids and adrenergic agents exploit but a tiny fraction of the vast panoply of mechanisms now known to be involved in the induction and/or expression of descending controls. For example, no drug interfering with descending facilitation is currently available for clinical use. The present review focuses on: (1) the organisation of descending pathways and their pathophysiological significance; (2) the role of individual transmitters and specific receptor types in the modulation and expression of mechanisms of descending inhibition and facilitation and (3) the advantages and limitations of established and innovative analgesic strategies which act by manipulation of descending controls. Knowledge of descending pathways has increased exponentially in recent years, so this is an opportune moment to survey their operation and therapeutic relevance to the improved management of pain.
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              Central sensitization and LTP: do pain and memory share similar mechanisms?

              Synaptic plasticity is fundamental to many neurobiological functions, including memory and pain. Central sensitization refers to the increased synaptic efficacy established in somatosensory neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord following intense peripheral noxious stimuli, tissue injury or nerve damage. This heightened synaptic transmission leads to a reduction in pain threshold, an amplification of pain responses and a spread of pain sensitivity to non-injured areas. In the cortex, LTP - a long-lasting highly localized increase in synaptic strength - is a synaptic substrate for memory and learning. Analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation and maintenance of central sensitization and LTP indicates that, although there are differences between the synaptic plasticity contributing to memory and pain, there are also striking similarities.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                tzuhao@email.unc.edu
                jhchen@ntu.edu.tw
                ctyen@ntu.edu.tw
                Journal
                Mol Brain
                Mol Brain
                Molecular Brain
                BioMed Central (London )
                1756-6606
                1 October 2018
                1 October 2018
                2018
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0546 0241, GRID grid.19188.39, Department of Life Science, , National Taiwan University, ; No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei, 10617 Taiwan
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0546 0241, GRID grid.19188.39, Interdisciplinary MRI/MRS Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering, , National Taiwan University, ; No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei, 10617 Taiwan
                Article
                398
                10.1186/s13041-018-0398-z
                6167811
                30285801
                059c7cb8-96be-4ed8-9e6d-2a3746e99a5a
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
                Award ID: MOST105-2311-B-002 -029
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Neurosciences

                neuropathic pain, chronic pain, plasticity, fmri, memri, unit recording, insular cortex

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