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Pain. 2005 Sep;117(1-2):6-18.

Microarray analysis of gene expression following the formalin test in the infant rat.

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Department of Developmental Psychobiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.


Injury and pain experienced by the infant results in immediate changes in pain sensitivity that last into adulthood. These long-term changes are likely initiated by altered gene expression. Here we measured how injury alters gene expression in the lumbar spinal cord early and late in the preweaning period of the rat. The expression of large numbers of genes was altered significantly at 3 days of age, when injury has long-term consequences. The functional classes of altered genes included transcription factors, cell death related and metal ion genes. The intensity of the stimulus in the 3-day-old pups induced changes in different classes of genes. Fewer changes were noted at 21 days of age. The increased expression of transcription factors and decreased expression of genes whose products are protective against cell death are hypothesized to underlie the long-term changes that are seen after injury in the neonate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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