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Animal Studies, Basic Neurobiology, Method

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A Mouse Model of Postoperative Pain.

Postoperative pain is highly debilitating and hinders recovery. Opioids are the main pain medication used for acute postoperative pain. Given the devastating opioid addiction and overdose epidemic across the US, non-opioid pain therapeutics are desperately needed. In order to develop novel, non-opioid therapies for the treatment of postoperative pain and identify the mechanisms underlying this pain, rodent models of incisional pain have been established. The protocol herein describes in detail how to create a mouse model of postoperative pain that was adapted from established protocols. This model of postoperative pain is frequently-used, highly reproducible, and results in peripheral and central nervous system alterations.

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Preparation of Acute Spinal Cord Slices for Whole-cell Patch-clamp Recording in Substantia Gelatinosa Neurons.

Recent whole-cell patch-clamp studies from substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons have provided a large body of information about the spinal mechanisms underlying sensory transmission, nociceptive regulation, and chronic pain or itch development. Implementations of electrophysiological recordings together with morphological studies based on the utility of acute spinal cord slices have further improved our understanding of neuronal properties and the composition of local circuitry in SG. Here, we present a detailed and practical guide for the preparation of spinal cord slices and show representative whole-cell recording and morphological results. This protocol permits ideal neuronal preservation and can mimic in vivo conditions to a certain extent. In summary, the ability to obtain an in vitro preparation of spinal cord slices enables stable current- and voltage-clamp recordings and could thus facilitate detailed investigations into the intrinsic membrane properties, local circuitry and neuronal structure using diverse experimental approaches.

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