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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Sep 2020 - 2 Oct 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Sep 29

Int J Oral Sci



Nociceptive behavioural assessments in mouse models of temporomandibular joint disorders.


Li J, Ma K, Yi D, Oh C-do, Chen D
Int J Oral Sci. 2020 Sep 29; 12(1):26.
PMID: 32989215.


Orofacial pain or tenderness is a primary symptom associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders (TMDs). To understand the pathological mechanisms underlying TMDs, several mouse models have been developed, including mechanical stimulus-induced TMD and genetic mouse models. However, a lack of feasible approaches for assessing TMD-related nociceptive behaviours in the orofacial region of mice has hindered the in-depth study of TMD-associated mechanisms. This study aimed to explore modifications of three existing methods to analyse nociceptive behaviours using two TMD mouse models: (1) mechanical allodynia was tested using von Frey filaments in the mouse TMJ region by placing mice in specially designed chambers; (2) bite force was measured using the Economical Load and Force (ELF) system; and (3) spontaneous feeding behaviour tests, including eating duration and frequency, were analysed using the Laboratory Animal Behaviour Observation Registration and Analysis System (LABORAS). We successfully assessed changes in nociceptive behaviours in two TMD mouse models, a unilateral anterior crossbite (UAC)-induced TMD mouse model and a β-catenin conditional activation mouse model. We found that the UAC model and β-catenin conditional activation mouse model were significantly associated with signs of increased mechanical allodynia, lower bite force, and decreased spontaneous feeding behaviour, indicating manifestations of TMD. These behavioural changes were consistent with the cartilage degradation phenotype observed in these mouse models. Our studies have shown reliable methods to analyse nociceptive behaviours in mice and may indicate that these methods are valid to assess signs of TMD in mice.