Top-Down Descending Facilitation of Spinal Sensory Excitatory Transmission from the Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Source: Nature Communications
Abstract: Spinal sensory transmission is under descending biphasic modulation, and descending facilitation is believed to contribute to chronic pain. Descending modulation from the brainstem rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) has been the most studied, whereas little is known about direct corticospinal modulation. Here, we found that stimulation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) potentiated spinal excitatory synaptic transmission and this modulation is independent of the RVM. Peripheral nerve injury enhanced the spinal synaptic transmission and occluded the ACC-spinal cord facilitation. Inhibition of ACC reduced the enhanced spinal synaptic transmission caused by nerve injury.