Dr. Min Zhuo, Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto
Talk Title: Cortical Synaptic Mechanisms for Chronic Pain and its Related Anxiety
Brain & Behaviour Seminar Series 2014-2015
Reception to follow in the Psychology Lounge, room 4043, Sidney Smith Hall
Chronic pain can lead to anxiety and anxiety can enhance the sensation of pain. Unfortunately, little is known about the synaptic mechanisms that mediate these re-enforcing interactions. Here we characterized two forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC); a presynaptic form (pre-LTP) that requires kainate receptors and a postsynaptic form (post-LTP) that requires N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Pre-LTP also involves adenylyl cyclase and protein kinase A and is expressed via a mechanism involving hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels. Interestingly, chronic pain and anxiety both result in selective occlusion of pre-LTP. Significantly, microinjection of the HCN blocker ZD7288 into the ACC in vivo produces both anxiolytic and analgesic effects. Our results provide a mechanism by which two forms of LTP in the ACC may converge to mediate the interaction between anxiety and chronic pain.
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