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J Vis Exp. 2013 Jun 10;(76):e50336. doi: 10.3791/50336.

Use of the Operant Orofacial Pain Assessment Device (OPAD) to measure changes in nociceptive behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Florida College of Dentistry. ethan241@gmail.com

Abstract

We present an operant system for the detection of pain in awake, conscious rodents. The Orofacial Pain Assessment Device (OPAD) assesses pain behaviors in a more clinically relevant way by not relying on reflex-based measures of nociception. Food fasted, hairless (or shaved) rodents are placed into a Plexiglas chamber which has two Peltier-based thermodes that can be programmed to any temperature between 7 °C and 60 °C. The rodent is trained to make contact with these in order to access a reward bottle. During a session, a number of behavioral pain outcomes are automatically recorded and saved. These measures include the number of reward bottle activations (licks) and facial contact stimuli (face contacts), but custom measures like the lick/face ratio (total number of licks per session/total number of contacts) can also be created. The stimulus temperature can be set to a single temperature or multiple temperatures within a session. The OPAD is a high-throughput, easy to use operant assay which will lead to better translation of pain research in the future as it includes cortical input instead of relying on spinal reflex-based nociceptive assays.

PMID:
23792907
PMCID:
PMC3727247
DOI:
10.3791/50336
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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