Zhang W, Gardell S, Zhang D, Xie JY, Agnes RS, Badghisi H, Hruby VJ, Rance N, Ossipov MH, Vanderah TW, Porreca F, Lai J (2009) Neuropathic pain is maintained by brainstem neurons co-expressing opioid and cholecystokinin receptors. Brain 132:778-787. doi: 10.1093/brain/awn330
Summary: It has been hypothesized that a subset of rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) neurons co-expressing the cholecystokinin type 2 receptor and the mu-opioid receptor are responsible for the maintenance of neuropathic pain. Rats were treated with 50-ng bilateral RVM injections of Dermorphin-SAP (Cat. #IT-12), CCK-SAP (Cat. #IT-31), or saporin (Cat. #PR-01) as a control. Lesion of the RVM neurons prevented hyperalgesia in response to CCK treatment, and shortened abnormal pain states caused by sciatic nerve injury.