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J Pain Res. 2018 Oct 11;11:2279-2293. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S172300. eCollection 2018.

Open field and a behavior score in PNT model for neuropathic pain in pigs.

Author information

The Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute, Sheba Medical Centre, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Lahav Research Institute, Kibutz Lahav, Negev, Israel.
Neurology R&D Division, MD Biosciences, Ness Ziona, Israel,
Touchstone Biosciences, Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA.



Rodent models are frequently used in the research of pain and continue to provide valuable data on the mechanisms driving pain, although they are criticized due to limited translational ability to human conditions. Previously we have suggested pigs as a model for development of drugs for neuropathic pain. In this study, we investigate the spontaneous behavior of pigs following peripheral neuritis trauma (PNT)-induced neuropathic pain.


A computerized monitoring system was used to evaluate the changes in open field test in addition to applying a composite behavior scoring system. The data suggest that the PNT operation did not affect the animal's ability to walk as the total distance walked by PNT animals was not significantly different from the total distance walked by sham-operated animals. However, PNT animals expressed a significant change in the pattern of walking. This effect was unrelated to the time that the animals spent in the open field. Following treatment with different drugs (morphine, buprenorphine, or gabapentin), the walking pattern of the animals in the open field changed in a drug-specific manner. In addition, the detailed behavior score revealed drug-specific changes following treatment.


Pharmacokinetic analysis of the drug concentration in blood and cerebrospinal fluid correlated with the behavioral analysis.


The data of this study suggest that the open field test together with the detailed behavior score applied in this model are a powerful tool to assess the spontaneous behavior of pigs following PNT-induced neuropathic pain.


neuropathic pain; open field; swine

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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