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Abstract #1723

Network Analysis Revealed Two Distinct Neuronal Circuits Involved in Nociceptive Processing within the Rat Brain after Ablation of TRPV1-Expressing Peripheral Neurons

Isabel Wank1, Lisa Kutsche1, Silke Kreitz1, and Andreas Hess1

1Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany

Pain is a vital danger signal, as it prevents the body from suffering burns by hot items. Using BOLD-fMRI, we evaluated the rat's brain response to increasing thermal stimuli to detect which brain structures are involved especially in the processing of nociceptive heat. Therefore, we eradicated selectively the nociceptive-specific TRPV1-expressing neurons via Resiniferatoxin-induced excitotoxicity. This missing nociceptive input from the periphery resulted in a widespread suppression of brain activity in most brain structures except some parts of the brainstem. Graphtheoretical network analysis revealed two distinct circuits of brain structures involved in the processing of noxious temperatures above 48°C.

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