Shock-induced hyperalgesia: II. Role of the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray. Academic Article uri icon


  • Exposure to 3 moderately intense (1-mA) tailshocks has been shown to lower vocalization thresholds to both heat and shock. Previous shock exposure also facilitates the acquisition of conditioned fear as measured by freezing. These observations suggest that shock induces hyperalgesia (enhanced pain). This study explored whether shock-induced hyperalgesia depends on neurons within rostral or caudal portions of the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG). Experiment 1 examined the impact of dlPAG lesions on the acquisition of conditioned fear. Sham-operated rats demonstrated enhanced acquisition after shock exposure; both rostral and caudal lesions eliminated this effect. Experiment 2 showed that tailshock lowered vocalization thresholds to heat in sham-operated but not lesioned subjects. These results suggest that the dlPAG plays a critical role in the production of shock-induced hyperalgesia.

published proceedings

  • Behav Neurosci

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • McLemore, S., Crown, E. D., Meagher, M. W., & Grau, J. W.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • McLemore, S||Crown, ED||Meagher, MW||Grau, JW

publication date

  • June 1999