Sourcebook of Models for Biomedical Research

pp 333-339

Animal Models of Nociception and Pain

  • James D. RoseAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming
  • , C. Jeffrey WoodburyAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology and Physiology and Neuroscience Program, University of Wyoming

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Research on the neurobiological bases of nociception and pain and related investigations of potential therapies require great reliance on animal models. There are unique challenges in the development of well-validated models in this field because of the distinction between nociception, the processing and response to potentially pain producing stimuli by lower levels of the nervous system, and pain, the conscious result of nociceptive stimulus processing by the cerebral cortex. The most frequently used models actually represent tests of nociception only and are appropriate for investigating diverse pathophysiological processes that cause nociceptive activity in peripheral tissues, nerves, the spinal cord, or subcortical regions. However, because human pain is a complex end result of nociception and consciousness-dependent processes, models intended to address pain must be validated for this purpose. Models assessing processes related to pain are relatively rare and more difficult to validate and use than those relevantonly for nociception. Afailure to recognize the pain-nociception distinction has significant practical consequences for successful extrapolation of results from laboratory to clinical practice.

Key Words

Nociception-pain dichotomy Construct validity Neocortex Nocifensive behavior Neural substrate