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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Sep 2023 - 8 Sep 2023

Basic Science, Methodology, Resource

Animal Studies, Neurobiology

Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Sep 01

J Vis Exp



Urokinase-type Plasminogen Activator-induced Mouse Back Pain Model.


Montera MA, Goins AE, Alles SRA, Westlund KN


A model of persisting lower back pain can be induced in mice with the simple methodology described herein. Step-by-step methods for simple, rapid induction of a persisting back pain model in mice are provided here using an injection of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (urokinase), a serine protease present in humans and other animals. The methodology for induction of persisting lower back pain in mice involves a simple injection of urokinase along the ligamentous insertion region of the lumbar spine. The urokinase inflammatory agent activates plasminogen to plasmin. Typically, the model can be induced within 10 min and hypersensitivity persists for at least 8 weeks. Hypersensitivity, gait disturbance, and other standard anxiety- and depression-like measures can be tested in the persisting model. Back pain is the most prevalent type of pain. To improve awareness of back pain, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) named 2021 the “Global Year about Back Pain” and 2022 the “Global Year for Translating Pain Knowledge to Practice.” One limitation of the therapeutic advancement of pain therapeutics is the lack of suitable models for testing persistent and chronic pain. The features of this model are suitable for testing potential therapeutics aimed at the reduction of back pain and its ancillary characteristics, contributing to IASP’s naming 2022 as the Global Year for Translating Pain Knowledge to Practice.