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TitlePronociception from the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus is mediated by the rostral ventromedial medulla in healthy controls but is absent in arthritic animals
Author(s)Ribeiro, Filipa Pinto
Amorim, Diana
Pereira, Ana Carla David
Monteiro, Ana Maria
Costa, Patrício Soares
Pertovaara, Antti
Almeida, Armando
KeywordsDorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH)
Arthritic pain
Descending pain modulation
Rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM)
ON-like cells
Issue date2013
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Abstract(s)The dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMH) has been proposed to participate in stress-induced hyperalgesia through facilitation of pronociceptive cells in the rostroventromedial medulla (RVM). We hypothesized that the DMH participates in hyperalgesia induced by arthritis. The DMH was pharmacologically manipulated while assessing heat-evoked nociceptive behavior or the discharge rates of pronociceptive RVM ON- and antinociceptive RVM OFF-like cells in NAIVE, SHAM and monoarthritic (ARTH) animals. In NAIVE and SHAM animals, the changes in nociceptive behavior induced by activation of the DMH by glutamate and inhibition by lidocaine were in line with earlier evidence indicating that the DMH has a nociceptive facilitating role. However, in ARTH animals, neither activation nor inhibition of the DMH influenced pain-like behavior evoked by stimulation of an uninflamed skin region (paw and tail). In accordance with these behavioral results, activation or inhibition of the DMH induced pronociceptive changes in the discharge rates of RVM cells in NAIVE and SHAM animals, which suggests that the DMH has a pronociceptive role mediated by the RVM in normal animals. However, in ARTH animals, both glutamate and lidocaine in the DMH failed to influence either pain-like behavior or noxious stimulation-evoked responses of RVM cells, while blocking the DMH increased spontaneous activity in the pronociceptive RVM ON cells. Our data indicate that the DMH participates in descending facilitation of cutaneous nociception in healthy controls, but it is not engaged in the regulation of cutaneous nociception in monoarthritic animals, while a minor role in tonic suppression of nociception in arthritis cannot be discarded.
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AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais com Referee

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