Objective validation of central sensitization in the rat UVB and heat rekindling model

N S Weerasinghe, B M Lumb, R Apps, S Koutsikou, J C Murrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The UVB and heat rekindling (UVB/HR) model shows potential as a translatable inflammatory pain model. However, the occurrence of central sensitization in this model, a fundamental mechanism underlying chronic pain, has been debated. Face, construct and predictive validity are key requisites of animal models; electromyogram (EMG) recordings were utilized to objectively demonstrate validity of the rat UVB/HR model.

METHODS: The UVB/HR model was induced on the heel of the hind paw under anaesthesia. Mechanical withdrawal thresholds (MWTs) were obtained from biceps femoris EMG responses to a gradually increasing pinch at the mid hind paw region under alfaxalone anaesthesia, 96 h after UVB irradiation. MWT was compared between UVB/HR and SHAM-treated rats (anaesthetic only). Underlying central mechanisms in the model were pharmacologically validated by MWT measurement following intrathecal N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, MK-801, or saline.

RESULTS: Secondary hyperalgesia was confirmed by a significantly lower pre-drug MWT {mean [±standard error of the mean (SEM)]} in UVB/HR [56.3 (±2.1) g/mm(2) , n = 15] compared with SHAM-treated rats [69.3 (±2.9) g/mm(2) , n = 8], confirming face validity of the model. Predictive validity was demonstrated by the attenuation of secondary hyperalgesia by MK-801, where mean (±SEM) MWT was significantly higher [77.2 (±5.9) g/mm(2) n = 7] in comparison with pre-drug [57.8 (±3.5) g/mm(2) n = 7] and saline [57.0 (±3.2) g/mm(2) n = 8] at peak drug effect. The occurrence of central sensitization confirmed construct validity of the UVB/HR model.

CONCLUSIONS: This study used objective outcome measures of secondary hyperalgesia to validate the rat UVB/HR model as a translational model of inflammatory pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-206
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 The Authors European Journal of Pain published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Pain Federation - EFIC®.


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