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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Jun 2021 - 2 Jul 2021

2021 Aug-Dec

Neurobiol Pain


Diet, body weight and pain susceptibility – A systematic review of preclinical studies.


Marques Miranda C, de Lima Campos M, Leite-Almeida H
Neurobiol Pain. 2021 Aug-Dec; 10:100066.
PMID: 34195483.


Obesity has been associated with increased chronic pain susceptibility but causes are unclear. In this review, we systematize and analyze pain outcomes in rodent models of obesity as these can be important tools for mechanistic studies. Studies were identified using MEDLINE/PubMed and Scopus databases using the following search query: (((pain) OR (nociception)) AND (obesity)) AND (rat OR (mouse) OR (rodent))). From each eligible record we extracted the following data: species, strain, sex, pain/obesity model and main behavioral readouts. Out of 695 records 33 were selected for inclusion. 27 studies assessed nociception/acute pain and 17 studies assessed subacute or chronic pain. Overall genetic and dietary models overlapped in pain-related outcomes. Most acute pain studies reported either decreased or unaltered responses to noxious painful stimuli. However, decreased thresholds to mechanical innocuous stimuli, i.e. allodynia, were frequently reported. In most studies using subacute and chronic pain models, namely of subcutaneous inflammation, arthritis and perineural inflammation, decreased thresholds and/or prolonged pain manifestations were reported in obesity models. Strain comparisons and longitudinal observations indicate that genetic factors and the time course of the pathology might account for some of the discrepancies observed across studies. Two studies reported increased pain in animals subjected to high fat diet in the absence of weight gain. Pain-related outcomes in experimental models and clinical obesity are aligned indicating that the rodent can be an useful tool to study the interplay between diet, obesity and pain. In both cases weight gain might represent only a minor contribution to abnormal pain manifestation.