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Brain research

The functional role of ascending nociceptive control in defensive behavior.


PMID 22709533

Abstract

Ascending nociceptive control is a novel spino-striato-rostral ventral medulla pain modulation pathway that mediates heterosegmental pain-induced analgesia, i.e., noxious stimulus-induced antinociception. In this study, we used the dorsal immobility response in rats as a model of the defensive responses. We demonstrated that the activation of ascending nociceptive control by peripheral noxious stimulation and spinal AMPA and mGluR1 receptor blockade significantly potentiated the duration of the dorsal immobility response in rats via an opioid-dependent mechanism in the nucleus accumbens. These results demonstrated the functional role of ascending nociceptive control in the modulation of defensive responses and spinal glutamatergic receptors in the dorsal immobility response. The immobility response is an antipredator behavior that reflects the underlying state of fear, and ascending nociceptive control may modulate fear.

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