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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jul 2020 - 24 Jul 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Jul 17

Brain Behav Immun

Chronic mechanical hypersensitivity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis is regulated by disease severity and neuroinflammation.


Segal JP, Bannerman CA, Silva JR, Haird CM, Baharnoori M, Gilron I, Ghasemlou N
Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Jul 17.
PMID: 32688029.


Chronic pain severely affects quality of life in more than half of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). A commonly-used model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), typically presents with hindlimb paralysis, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. However, this paralysis may hinder the use of pain behavior tests, with no apparent hypersensitivity observed post-peak disease. We sought to adapt the classic actively-induced EAE model to optimize its pain phenotype. EAE was induced with MOG/CFA and 100-600ng pertussis toxin (PTX), and mice were assessed for mechanical, cold and thermal sensitivity over a 28-day period. Spinal cord tissue was collected at 14 and 28 days post-injection to assess demyelination and neuroinflammation. Only mice treated with 100ng PTX exhibited mechanical hypersensitivity. Hallmarks of disease pathology, including demyelination, immune cell recruitment, cytokine expression, glial activation, and neuronal damage were higher in EAE mice induced with moderate (200ng) doses of pertussis toxin, compared to those treated with low (100ng) levels. Immunostaining demonstrated activated astrocytes and myeloid/microglial cells in both EAE groups. These results indicate that a lower severity of EAE disease may allow for the study of pain behaviors while still presenting with disease pathology. By using this modified model, researchers may better study the mechanisms underlying pain.