Hypersensitivity to thermal stimuli in young mice following early childhood stress
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Chronic pain is an ever-present issue and some estimate its cost to society at $635 billion per year. Not only does chronic pain cause increased visits to medical personnel, it also complicates other medical conditions and lowers productivity in the workplace. One area of study includes Chronic Post Surgical Pain (CPSP) in children that have undergone spinal fusion surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). Some of the major factors that may lead to CPSP include preoperative pain, psychosocial factors, age, intraoperative nerve injury, acute postoperative pain, and genetics. In order to explore the psychological factors, our lab has employed an Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress (UCMS) paradigm, which models unforeseen life stressors and depression. Some sensory testing was conducted included Hot Plate and von Frey fiber testing. Previous studies from this lab have shown that adult male mice have hyperalgesia to thermal stimuli following a UCMS paradigm. To further explore this finding, a younger mice cohort of both sexes and a cohort that underwent Maternal Deprivation (MD) were added. Maternal Deprivation is a model of early-childhood stress and older female mice have been shown to have changes in thermal sensitivities as a result of early childhood stressors. Our lab found that stressed young females also exhibit a heightened sensitivity to thermal stimuli at 49°C compared to their male and control counter parts. These results indicate that the thermal sensitivity of young females can be affected by early childhood stress and depression.