Chronic mechanical hypersensitivity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis is regulated by disease severity and neuroinflammation
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JP Segal, CA Bannerman, JR Silva, CM Haird

QueenÕs University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Chronic pain severely affects quality of life in more than half of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). A commonly-used model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), typically presents with hindlimb paralysis, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. However, this paralysis may hinder the use of pain behavior tests, with no apparent hypersensitivity observed post-peak disease. We sought to adapt the classic actively-induced EAE model to optimize its pain phenotype. EAE was induced with MOG35-55/CFA and 100Ð600 ng pertussis toxin (PTX), and mice were assessed for mechanical, cold and thermal sensitivity over a 28-day period. Spinal cord tissue was collected at 14 and 28 days post-injection to assess demyelination and neuroinflammation. Only mice treated with 100 ng PTX exhibited mechanical hypersensitivity. Hallmarks of disease pathology, including demyelination, immune cell recruitment, cytokine expression, glial activation, and neuronal damage were higher in EAE mice induced with moderate (200 ng) doses of pertussis toxin, compared to those treated with low (100 ng) levels. Immunostaining demonstrated activated astrocytes and myeloid/microglial cells in both EAE groups. These results indicate that a lower severity of EAE disease may allow for the study of pain behaviors while still presenting with disease pathology. By using this modified model, researchers may better study the mechanisms underlying pain.

BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Von Frey Filaments (Bio-VF-M)

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