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Role of persistent inflammatory pain in the development of depression-like behavior and in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens in rats

Grant number: 13/04779-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2014 - August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Claudia Herrera Tambeli
Grantee:Claudia Herrera Tambeli
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Carlos Amilcar Parada


Psychosomatic pains, such as fibromyalgia, are chronic pains associated with anxiety and depression that can be caused by an excessive activation of physiological responses in a damaged organ. The Mesolimbic Dopaminergic System, which includes the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc) and the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), participates in the modulation of pain and depression. In this system, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activates the Tirosin-kinase B receptor (TrKB) in neuronal dopaminergic terminals to induce dopamine release in the NAcc. BDNF plays a role in the modulation of chronic pain and depression development, and may be involved in the psychosomatic pain molecular mechanisms. However, it is not known whether persistent inflammatory pain induces depression-like behavior and if so, whether BDNF acts in the VTA and NAcc as a mediator of persistent inflammatory pain alterations. In this context, the aims of the present study are: to investigate if persistent inflammatory pain induces depression-like behavior in rats, to verify the expression of BDNF mRNA and protein in the Mesolimbic Dopaminergic System (NAcc and VTA), and to investigate the functional role of BDNF via TrKB receptor activation in the Nacc. The project will contribute for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms in chronic inflammatory pain and depression. (AU)

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