Surgically induced osteoarthritis in the rat results in the development of both osteoarthritis-like joint pain and secondary hyperalgesia

S.E. Bove, K.D. Laemont, R.M. Brooker, M.N. Osborn, B.M. Sanchez, R.E. Guzman, K.E. Hook, P.L. Juneau, J.R. Connor and K.S. Kilgore

The aim of this study was to develop/characterize the pain profile of a rat model of surgically induced osteoarthritis (OA).  OA was surgically induced in rats by transection of the medial collateral ligament and medial meniscus of the femoro-tibial joint. In order to characterize the pain profile, animals were assessed for a change in hind paw weight distribution (HPWD), development of mechanical allodynia, and the presence of thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia. Rofecoxib and gabapentin were examined for their ability to decrease change in weight distribution and tactile allodynia. The authors concluded that the rat medial meniscal tear (MMT) model mimics both nociceptive and neuropathic OA pain and is responsive to both a selective cylooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor commonly utilized for OA pain (rofecoxib) and a widely prescribed drug for neuropathic pain (gabapentin). The rat MMT model may therefore represent a predictive tool for the development of pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of the symptoms associated with OA.

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Volume 14, Issue 10, October 2006, Pages 1041-1048

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