The basolateral amygdala-anterior cingulate pathway contributes to depression-like behaviors and comorbidity with chronic pain behaviors in male mice

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Becker L. J., Fillinger C., Waegaert R., Journée S. H., Hener P., Ayazgok B., ...More

Nature Communications, vol.14, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41467-023-37878-y
  • Journal Name: Nature Communications
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Geobase, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


While depression and chronic pain are frequently comorbid, underlying neuronal circuits and their psychopathological relevance remain poorly defined. Here we show in mice that hyperactivity of the neuronal pathway linking the basolateral amygdala to the anterior cingulate cortex is essential for chronic pain-induced depression. Moreover, activation of this pathway in naive male mice, in the absence of on-going pain, is sufficient to trigger depressive-like behaviors, as well as transcriptomic alterations that recapitulate core molecular features of depression in the human brain. These alterations notably impact gene modules related to myelination and the oligodendrocyte lineage. Among these, we show that Sema4a, which was significantly upregulated in both male mice and humans in the context of altered mood, is necessary for the emergence of emotional dysfunction. Overall, these results place the amygdalo-cingulate pathway at the core of pain and depression comorbidity, and unravel the role of Sema4a and impaired myelination in mood control.