What is it about?

Pain and itch are distinct sensations arousing evasion and compulsive desire for scratching, respectively. It’s unclear whether they could invoke different neural networks in the brain. Here, we use a recombinant herpes simplex virus to trace the neural networks derived from two types of primary sensory neurons -- one kind of nociceptors and one type of pruricetprs. we reveal the distinct organization of neural networks for processing pain and itch.

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Why is it important?

We achieve tracing of neural networks derived from Gal-containing or Nts-expressing DRG neurons by microinjection of recombinant herpes simplex virus into the lumbar 5 dorsal root ganglia. By comparing neural networks, we identify differentially labeled nuclei, reveal distinct organization of ascending pathways, and demonstrate different involvement of the somatic motor system and the emotional motor systems in two neural networks. Functional validation of the representative, differentially labeled nuclei suggested the relevance of the neural networks with pain and itch, respectively. This study provides insight into the modality selectivity of supraspinal neural networks for processing pain and itch.


The most exciting moment of this study is when I see the effect of Bortezomib on facilitation of the infection of the viral tracer.

Yan Chen
Guangdong Institute of Intelligence Science and Techology

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This page is a summary of: Distinct neural networks derived from galanin-containing nociceptors and neurotensin-expressing pruriceptors, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2118501119.
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