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Relief of pain is rewarding. Using a model of experimental postsurgical pain we show that blockade of afferent input from the injury with local anesthetic elicits conditioned place preference, activates ventral tegmental dopaminergic cells, and increases dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Importantly, place preference is associated with increased(More)
Recently, a series of studies have given rise to and provided evidence for the hypothesis that the nucleus submedius (Sm) in the medial thalamus is involved in modulation of nociception. The Sm, ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) and the periaqueductal gray (PAG) constitute a pain modulatory pathway, activation of which leads to activation of the(More)
The ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) is a component of an endogenous analgesic system consisting of an ascending pathway from the spinal cord to VLO via the thalamic nucleus submedius (Sm) and a descending pathway relaying in the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG). This study examines whether the activation of 5-HT 1A receptors in VLO produces(More)
The present study examined the roles of dopamine and D(1)- and D(2)-like dopamine receptors in ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO)-evoked antinociception in rats with persistent inflammatory pain. Following formalin injection into the rat unilateral hindpaw pad, the effects of dopamine receptor agonist and antagonist microinjections into the VLO on(More)
Neuropathic pain is often "spontaneous" or "stimulus-independent." Such pain may result from spontaneous discharge in primary afferent nociceptors in injured peripheral nerves. However, whether axotomized primary afferent nociceptors give rise to pain is unclear. The rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) mediates the negative affective component of(More)
Injuries can induce adaptations in pain processing that result in amplification of signaling. One mechanism may be analogous to long-term potentiation and involve the atypical protein kinase C, PKMζ. The possible contribution of PKMζ-dependent and independent amplification mechanisms to experimental neuropathic pain was explored in rats with spinal nerve(More)
A predominant complaint in patients with neuropathic pain is spontaneous pain, often described as burning. Recent studies have demonstrated that negative reinforcement can be used to unmask spontaneous neuropathic pain, allowing for mechanistic investigations. Here, ascending pathways that might contribute to evoked and spontaneous components of an(More)
The ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) is part of an endogenous analgesic system consisting of an ascending pathway from the spinal cord to VLO via the thalamic nucleus submedius (Sm) and a descending pathway to the spinal cord relaying in the periaqueductal gray (PAG). This study examines whether activation of D(1)-like and D(2)-like dopamine receptors in(More)
Pain is aversive, and its relief elicits reward mediated by dopaminergic signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a part of the mesolimbic reward motivation pathway. How the reward pathway is engaged by pain-relieving treatments is not known. Endogenous opioid signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), an area encoding pain aversiveness, contributes(More)
The present study examined the effect of serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor activation in the ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) upon formalin-evoked flinching behavior and spinal Fos expression, and further determined whether activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors affected the spontaneous GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in rat VLO(More)