A simple and inexpensive method for determining cold sensitivity and adaptation in mice

Brenner DS, Golden JP, Vogt SK, Gereau RW: 2015 J Vis Exp (97) doi: 10.3791/52640. Read More

Abstract

Cold hypersensitivity is a serious clinical problem, affecting a broad subset of patients and causing significant decreases in quality of life. The cold plantar assay allows the objective and inexpensiveassessment of cold sensitivity in mice, and can quantify both analgesia and hypersensitivity. Miceare acclimated on a glass plate, and a compressed dry ice pellet is held against the glass surface underneath the hindpaw. The latency to withdrawal from the cooling glass is used as a measure ofcold sensitivity. Cold sensation is also important for survival in regions with seasonal temperature shifts, and in order to maintain sensitivity animals must be able to adjust their thermal response thresholds to match the ambient temperature. The Cold Plantar Assay (CPA) also allows the study of adaptation to changes in ambient temperature by testing the cold sensitivity of mice at temperatures ranging from 30 °C to 5 °C. Mice are acclimated as described above, but the glass plate is cooled to the desired starting temperature using aluminum boxes (or aluminum foil packets) filled with hot water, wet ice, or dry ice. The temperature of the plate is measured at the center using a filament T-type thermocouple probe. Once the plate has reached the desired starting temperature, the animals are tested as described above. This assay allows testing of mice at temperatures ranging from innocuous to noxious. The CPA yields unambiguous and consistent behavioral responses in uninjured mice and can be used to quantify both hypersensitivity and analgesia. This protocol describes how to use the CPA to measure cold hypersensitivity, analgesia, and adaptation in mice.

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Posted on September 25, 2015
Posted in: Axon Injury & Repair, Publications Authors: