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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Sep 2023 - 15 Sep 2023

Basic Science, Methodology, Psychology

Animal Studies, Neurobiology

Musculoskeletal Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Sep 08

Lab Anim


Evaluating rearing behaviour as a model-specific pain indicator in mouse osteotomy models.


Wolter A, Jirkof P, Thöne-Reineke C, Rapp AE, Lang A


To assess pain in mouse models of bone fractures, currently applied assessment batteries use combinations of clinical signs with spontaneous behaviours and model-specific behaviours, including walking and weight-bearing behaviour. Rearing behaviour – an upright position on the hindlimbs – has a motivational and an ambulatory component. Thus, rearing behaviour might have the potential to be an indicator for model-specific pain in mouse fracture models. To date, the assessment of rearing behaviour in bone fracture models using mice is only scarcely described. In this study, we aimed to determine whether the duration of rearing behaviour is affected by osteotomy of the femur in male and female C57BL/6N mice with external fixation (rigid . flexible) and could be an additional sign for model-specific pain, such as the presence of limping. Rearing duration was significantly decreased after osteotomy in male and female mice at 24 h, 48 h and 72 h, but was not affected by anaesthesia/analgesia alone. In male mice, the relative rearing duration increased over 72 h (both fixations) and at 10 days in the rigid fixation group but remained significantly lower in the flexible fixation group. In contrast, in female mice, no increase in rearing duration was observed within 72 h and at 10 days post-osteotomy, independent of the fixation. We did not identify any association between relative rearing time and presence or absence of limping. In summary, our results do not provide sufficient evidence that altered rearing behaviour might be an indicative sign for pain in this model.