Jelena Lazovic1, Anthony C. Johnson2, Brent Myers2, Rheal Towner3, Beverly Greenwood-Van Meerveld2
1Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA; 2University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA; 3Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Individuals affected with visceral pain often have a history of stressful experiences and anxiety. The aim of this study was to detect brain activation in response to visceral stimulation in the context of increased anxiety, modeled by amygdala targeted corticosterone delivery. FMRI was performed during colorectal distensions (40 and 60 mmHg) in corticosterone or cholesterol (controls) implanted rats. The corticosterone implanted rats had substantially more regions of brain activity for both 40 and 60 mmHg pressure, and greater activation of nuclei involved in pain processing and higher cognitive function (amygdala, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and cerebellum).