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A new animal model of placebo analgesia: involvement of the dopaminergic system in reward learning
Kyung Hee University, South Korea; University of Tubingen, Germany; University of Tubingen, Germany; University of Tubingen, Germany.
Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
Kyung Hee University, South Korea.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. (Centrum för social och affektiv neurovetenskap (CSAN))
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2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, no 17140Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

We suggest a new placebo analgesia animal model and investigated the role of the dopamine and opioid systems in placebo analgesia. Before and after the conditioning, we conducted a conditioned place preference (CPP) test to measure preferences for the cues (Rooms 1 and 2), and a hot plate test (HPT) to measure the pain responses to high level-pain after the cues. In addition, we quantified the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and c-Fos in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a response to reward learning and pain response. We found an enhanced preference for the low level-pain paired cue and enhanced TH expression in the VTA of the Placebo and Placebo + Naloxone groups. Haloperidol, a dopamine antagonist, blocked these effects in the Placebo + Haloperidol group. An increased pain threshold to high-heat pain and reduced c-Fos expression in the ACC were observed in the Placebo group only. Haloperidol blocked the place preference effect, and naloxone and haloperidol blocked the placebo analgesia. Cue preference is mediated by reward learning via the dopamine system, whereas the expression of placebo analgesia is mediated by the dopamine and opioid systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2015. Vol. 5, no 17140
National Category
Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123518DOI: 10.1038/srep17140ISI: 000365299100002PubMedID: 26602173OAI: diva2:886285

Funding Agencies|international cooperation program [2014K2A3A1000166]

Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-21 Last updated: 2016-01-21

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Olausson, Håkan
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