Ketamine normalizes high-gamma power in the anterior cingulate cortex in a rat chronic pain model

Mol Brain. 2020 Sep 23;13(1):129. doi: 10.1186/s13041-020-00670-w.


Chronic pain alters cortical and subcortical plasticity, causing enhanced sensory and affective responses to peripheral nociceptive inputs. Previous studies have shown that ketamine had the potential to inhibit abnormally amplified affective responses of single neurons by suppressing hyperactivity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). However, the mechanism of this enduring effect has yet to be understood at the network level. In this study, we recorded local field potentials from the ACC of freely moving rats. Animals were injected with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) to induce persistent inflammatory pain. Mechanical stimulations were administered to the hind paw before and after CFA administration. We found a significant increase in the high-gamma band (60-100 Hz) power in response to evoked pain after CFA treatment. Ketamine, however, reduced the high-gamma band power in response to evoked pain in CFA-treated rats. In addition, ketamine had a sustained effect on the high-gamma band power lasting up to five days after a single dose administration. These results demonstrate that ketamine has the potential to alter maladaptive neural responses in the ACC induced by chronic pain.

Keywords: Anterior cingulate cortex; Chronic pain; Gamma band power; Ketamine; Local field potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Freund's Adjuvant
  • Gamma Rhythm / drug effects
  • Gamma Rhythm / physiology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiopathology*
  • Ketamine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Ketamine
  • Freund's Adjuvant