Saturday, 14 November 2015

Whiskers feeling pain

Thorburn KC, Paylor JW, Webber CA, Winship IR, Kerr BJ. Facial hypersensitivity and trigeminal pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Pain. 2015 Nov. [Epub ahead of print]

Trigeminal neuropathic pain is a well-recognized complication of the demyelinating disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, the mechanisms underlying MS-related trigeminal neuropathic pain are poorly understood. This can be attributed, at least in part, to the lack of an animal model that exhibits trigeminal pathology similar to that described in MS. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model that is commonly used to study the pathophysiology of MS. We show here that mice with EAE exhibit increased sensitivity to air puffs applied to the whisker pad. The increased sensitivity to air puff stimulation is accompanied by T cell infiltration and glial activation at several points along the trigeminal primary afferent pathway. We also observe demyelination of the intra- and extra-pontine aspects of the trigeminal sensory root as well as the spinal trigeminal tract. This is the first study to show orofacial sensory disturbances and trigeminal demyelination in EAE. Collectively, our data suggest that EAE may be a useful model for understanding MS-related trigeminal neuropathic pain conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia.

So more nails in the EAE coffin. In this study they suggest that there are sensory issues in the whiskers of mice with EAE and that they are more sensitive so the mice can be heard to say "Is it safe" :-)....Answer is No Not really. Is this equating to pain or altered sensation, if it is pain then it ramps up the ethical argument against using these models.


  1. For years neurologists insisted that you don't get pain with MS, ignoring our suffering. At last pain is recognised, but if more doctors listened to their patients, we wouldn't so far behind with research. This is just one example.

    1. True, I as one of the symptoms in the cervical injury beyond the tingles the body felt a lot of pain in the back ... I came to feel this pain when I used to Rebif, when switched to Copaxone not felt more ... Gabapentin It helped me a lot at the time ... Now I have seen many patients who use Fingolimode complain of pain or Neuropathic Pain ...


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