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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jul 2023 - 7 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology


2023 Jun 29

Neurosci Res


Increased nociceptive behaviors and spinal c-Fos expression in the formalin test in a rat repeated cold stress model.


Nasu T, Kainuma R, Ota H, Mizumura K, Taguchi T


Repeated cold stress (RCS) can trigger the development of fibromyalgia (FM)-like symptoms, including persistent deep-tissue pain, although nociceptive changes to the skin have not been fully characterized. Using a rat RCS model, we investigated nociceptive behaviors induced by noxious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli applied to plantar skin. Neuronal activation in the spinal dorsal horn was examined using the formalin pain test. In rats exposed to RCS, nociceptive behavioral hypersensitivity was observed in all modalities of cutaneous noxious stimuli: the mechanical withdrawal threshold was decreased, and the heat withdrawal latency was shortened one day after the cessation of stress. The duration of nocifensive behaviors in the formalin test was prolonged in phase II but not in phase I. The number of c-Fos-positive neurons increased in the entire dorsal horn laminae I-VI, ipsilateral, but not contralateral, to formalin injection at the L3-L5 segments. The duration of nocifensive behavior in phase II was significantly and positively correlated with the number of c-Fos-positive neurons in laminae I-II. These results demonstrate that cutaneous nociception is facilitated in rats exposed to RCS for a short time and that the spinal dorsal horn neurons are hyperactivated by cutaneous formalin in the RCS model.