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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-59100

Kut, E; Candia, V; von Overbeck, J; Pok, J; Fink, D; Folkers, G (2011). Pleasure-related analgesia activates opioid-insensitive circuits. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(11):4148-53.

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Recent findings suggest that pain and pleasure share common neurochemical circuits, and studies in animals and humans show that opioid-mediated descending pathways can inhibit or facilitate pain. We explored the role of endogenous opioid neurotransmission in pleasure-related analgesia. μ-Opioidergic activity was blocked with 0.2 mg/kg naloxone to assess its effects on hedonic responses to pleasant emotional pictures (International Affective Picture System) and its modulating effects on heat pain tolerance. Naloxone did not alter subjective and autonomous reactions to pleasure induction or overall mood of participants. In addition, pleasure-related increases in pain tolerance persisted after reversal of endogenous μ-opioidergic neurotransmission. Subjective pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings increased after naloxone administration. These findings suggest that, in addition to opioid-sensitive circuits, mainly opioid-insensitive pain-modulating circuits are activated during pleasure-related analgesia.


7 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gynecology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:17 Feb 2012 10:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:37
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474 (P) 1529-2401 (E)
Publisher DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3736-10.2011
PubMed ID:21411655

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