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Abstract #0211

Imaging the Influence of Central Amygdala Neuronal Circuits on Nociception: a Combined Approach of Optogenetics and fMRI

Isabel Wank1, Pinelopi Pliota2, Silke Kreitz1, Wulf Haubensak2, and Andreas Hess1

1Institute of Pharmacology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany, 2Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter, Vienna, Austria

Optogenetics has proven to be a highly useful tool to delineate the function of distinct proteins. Here, this approach was combined with fMRI to activate in-vivo selectively two interacting, but supposedly opposing, neuronal circuits of the central lateral amygdala (CEl). A classical fMRI paradigm was chosen to study the influence of the activation of either PKCδ- or somatostatin-expressing neurons on central pain processing, and to identify involved brain networks or areas. PKCδ was found to act preferentially anti-nociceptive by controlling via thalamus higher-order brain regions. Somatostatin on the other hand was shown to interact very closely with brainstem regions, controlling in a “bottom-up”-fashion thalamus, limbic system and cortex.

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