Temporomandibular inflammation mobilizes parvalbumin and FosB/deltaFosB neurons of amygdala and dorsal raphe


Braz J Med Biol Res




Pathophysiological mechanisms involved in orofacial pain and their relationship with emotional disorders have emerged as an important research area for multidisciplinary studies. In particular, temporomandibular disorders (TMD) have been evaluated clinically from both physiological and psychological perspectives. We hypothesized that an altered neuronal activity occurs in the amygdala and the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR), encephalic regions involved in the modulation of painful and emotional information. Adult male Wistar rats were used in an experimental complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced temporomandibular joint (TMJ) inflammation model. CFA was applied for 1 or 10 days, and the animals were euthanized for brain samples dissection for FosB/ΔFosB and parvalbumin (PV) immunostaining. Our results were consistent in showing that the amygdala and DR were activated in the persistent inflammatory phase (10 days) and that the expression of PV+ interneurons in the amygdala was decreased. In contrast, in the DR, the expression of PV+ interneurons was increased in persistent states of CFA-induced TMJ inflammation. Moreover, at 10 days of inflammation, there was an increased co-localization of PV+ and FosB/ΔFosB+ neurons in the basolateral and central nucleus of the amygdala. Different nuclei of the amygdala, as well as portions of the DR, were activated in the persistent phase (10 days) of TMJ inflammation. In conclusion, altered activity of the amygdala and DR was detected during persistent inflammatory nociception in the temporomandibular joint. These regions may be essential for both sensory and affective dimensions of orofacial pain.

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