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Nerves Behind Pain Relief Provided By Stressful Situations

Date:
June 17, 2008
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
The increased beating of the heart that one experiences when in a stressful situation is just one part of the body's response, often known as the "fight-or-flight response", to stress. Another component of the fight-or-flight response is the suppression of pain, also known as stress-induced analgesia. New research has now revealed that nerves producing the peptide N/ORQ and nerves producing the peptide Hcrt are key regulators of SIA in mice.

The increased beating of the heart that one experiences when in a stressful situation is just one part of the body's response to stress, something often known as the "fight-or-flight response". Another component of the fight-or-flight response is the suppression of pain, also known as stress-induced analgesia (SIA).

Some of the nerves and nerve-produced peptides that are responsible for SIA have been identified, but much remains to be discovered. In a new study, a team of researchers in California, from AfaSci, Inc., Burlingame, and SRI International, Menlo Park, has revealed that nerves producing the peptide N/ORQ and nerves producing the peptide Hcrt are key in regulating SIA in mice.

The research team, which was led by Xinmin Xie and Thomas Kilduff, showed that in the brain of normal mice, Hcrt-producing nerve cells (Hcrt neurons) and N/ORQ-producing nerve cells interacted. N/ORQ affected the electrical current across Hcrt neurons and the release of neurotransmitters by these cells.

Furthermore, administration of N/ORQ blocked SIA in normal mice, but this was overcome by administration of Hcrt at the same time. The authors therefore conclude that N/ORQ likely influences a variety of Hcrt-mediated processes, in addition to SIA, and suggest that these pathways might contribute to medical conditions caused by excessive stress, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xinmin (Simon) Xie, Thomas Kilduff et al. Hypocretin/orexin and nociceptin/orphanin FQ coordinately regulate analgesia in a mouse model of stress-induced analgesia. Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 12, 2008

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Nerves Behind Pain Relief Provided By Stressful Situations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612172150.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2008, June 17). Nerves Behind Pain Relief Provided By Stressful Situations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612172150.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Nerves Behind Pain Relief Provided By Stressful Situations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612172150.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

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