Persistent Activity of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 in the Periaqueductal Gray Constrains Emergence of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Geehoon Chung, Hyun Geun Shim, Chae Young Kim, Hyun Hee Ryu, Dong Cheol Jang, Seung Ha Kim, Jaegeon Lee, Chang Eop Kim, Yu Kyeong Kim, Yong Seok Lee, Jun Kim, Sun Kwang Kim, Paul F. Worley, Sang Jeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pain sensation is powerfully modulated by signal processing in the brain, and pain becomes chronic with the dysfunction of the pain modulatory system; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We found that the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), the key area of endogenous pain modulation, is persistently active in normal conditions to maintain an appropriate sensory perception. In the neuropathic pain condition, Homer1a, an activity-dependent immediate early gene product, disrupted the persistent mGluR5 activity resulting in chronic pain. Remarkably a single-time blockage of the mGluR5 resulted in chronic neuropathic pain-like symptoms even in the absence of nerve injury. The decline of mGluR5 activity induced the pain modulatory dysfunction with a profound reduction of excitability of PAG neurons. These findings uncover the role of the persistent mGluR5 activity in vivo and provide new insight into how pain becomes chronic with the maladaptive coping of the PAG to pain sensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4631-4642.e6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume30
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • calcium oscillation
  • chronic pain
  • descending pain modulation
  • homer1a
  • intrinsic excitability
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 5
  • neuropathic pain
  • periaqueductal gray
  • persistent activity

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