Use Nginx to rate-limit only when origin server response code is 401

I want to use nginx to rate limit access to my API end-points only when the origin server response code is 401(Unauthorized). I have searched everywhere and couldn’t find anything related to my issue so please let me know if this is doable with nginx. Thanks in advance.

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This isn’t something I’ve attempted and doing some searching shows that you’ve been looking around for an answer for this quite a bit lately :)

You can have nginx intercept upstream error messages, so with that turned on you could rate limit based on a 401 response in the same way as if that error was local to nginx.

This shows an example of the option to intercept upstream error codes.