A behavioral model for peripheral neuropathy produced in rat's tail by inferior caudal trunk injury

Heung Sik Na, Jung Soo Han, Kyeong Hee Ko, Seung Kil Hong

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We attempted to develop an experimental animal model using rat's tail for understanding the mechanisms involving peripheral neuropathic pain. Under sodium pentobarbital anesthesia, the left inferior caudal trunk of the rat was resected between the S3 and S4 spinal nerves. Latencies of tail-flick induced by the stimulus such as warm (40°C) and cold (4°C) water to the tail were measured for the following 30 weeks. In addition, sensitivity of the tail to mechanical stimulation was tested with von Frey hairs on these rats. Operated rats showed abnormal sensitivity of the tail to normally innocuous mechanical and thermal (warm and cold) stimuli. We interpreted these results as signs of neuropathic pain following nerve injury. The present model offers several advantages in performing behavioral tests; (1) it is easy to apply thermal stimulation to the rat's tail using a water bottle; (2) it is easy to apply the mechanical stimulation with von Frey hairs and to localize sensitive areas in the tail; and (3) blind behavioral studies are possible due to the lack of deformity in the tail after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-52
Number of pages3
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Aug 29



  • Allodynia
  • Animal model
  • Causalgia
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Peripheral nerve injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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