The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spinal nociceptive processing is under the control of specific brainstem modulatory circuits. The best studied and probably functionally most significant such modulatory circuit has links in the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) and rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). This system exerts bidirectional control over nociceptive processing, suppressing, or facilitating nociception under different physiological and pathological conditions. The PAG-RVM system receives substantial inputs from hypothalamus and forebrain, integrating information related to motivation and emotion with visceral and somatic afferent input. This allows top-down control as well as feedback modulation of nociception. Functional characterization of neurons in the RVM reveals two populations of nociceptive modulatory neurons, on- and off-cells. There is now strong evidence that on-cells facilitate nociception and that off-cells inhibit nociception. A similar circuit-level analysis of the PAG, which is implicated in a host of functions from autonomic control to reproductive behavior and vocalization, would greatly advance our understanding of the neural circuitry of pain modulation in this region. The current challenge is to define the mechanisms through which the PAG-RVM modulatory system is brought into play to enhance or inhibit pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Senses: A Comprehensive Reference
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages593-626
Number of pages34
Volume5
ISBN (Print)9780123708809
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Periaqueductal Gray
Nociception
Brain Stem
Visceral Afferents
Reproductive Behavior
Pain
Nociceptors
Prosencephalon
Mesencephalon
Hypothalamus
Motivation
Emotions
Neurons
Population

Keywords

  • Antinociception
  • Descending control
  • Descending facilitation
  • Periaqueductalgray
  • Pro-nociception
  • Raphe
  • Rostral ventromedial medulla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Heinricher, M., & Ingram, S. (2010). The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation. In The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference (Vol. 5, pp. 593-626). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012370880-9.00183-3

The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation. / Heinricher, Mary; Ingram, Susan.

The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference. Vol. 5 Elsevier Inc., 2010. p. 593-626.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Heinricher, M & Ingram, S 2010, The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation. in The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference. vol. 5, Elsevier Inc., pp. 593-626. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012370880-9.00183-3
Heinricher M, Ingram S. The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation. In The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference. Vol. 5. Elsevier Inc. 2010. p. 593-626 https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012370880-9.00183-3
Heinricher, Mary ; Ingram, Susan. / The Brainstem and Nociceptive Modulation. The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference. Vol. 5 Elsevier Inc., 2010. pp. 593-626
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