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The journal of pain : official journal of the American Pain Society

Stimulation-produced analgesia from the occipital or retrosplenial cortex of rats involves serotonergic and opioid mechanisms in the anterior pretectal nucleus.


PMID 21167794

Abstract

The electrical stimulation of the occipital (OC) or retrosplenial (RSC) cortex produces antinociception in the rat tail-flick test. These cortices send inputs to the anterior pretectal nucleus (APtN) which is implicated in antinociception and nociception. At least muscarinic cholinergic, opioid, and serotonergic mechanisms in the APtN are involved in stimulation-produced antinociception (SPA) from the nucleus. In this study, the injection of 2% lidocaine (.25 μL) or methysergide (40 and 80 ng/.25 μL) into the APtN reduced the duration but did not change the intensity of SPA from the OC, whereas both duration and intensity of SPA from the RSC were significantly reduced in rats treated with lidocaine or naloxone (10 and 50 ng/.25 μL), injected into the APtN. Naloxone or methysegide injected into the APtN was ineffective against SPA from the OC or RSC, respectively. Atropine (100 ng/.25 μL) injected into the APtN was ineffective against SPA from either the OC or RSC. We conclude that the APtN acts as an intermediary for separate descending pain inhibitory pathways activated from the OC and RSC, utilizing at least serotonin and endogenous opioid as mediators in the nucleus. Stimulation-induced antinociception from the retrosplenial or occipital cortex in the rat tail-flick test depends on the activation of separate descending pain inhibitory pathways that utilize the APtN as a relay station.

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