Nociceptive responses to thermal and mechanical stimulations in awake pigs
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2012
© 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
European Journal of Pain
Volume 17, Issue 5, pages 638–648, May 2013
How to Cite
Di Giminiani, P., Petersen, L.J. and Herskin, M.S. (2013), Nociceptive responses to thermal and mechanical stimulations in awake pigs. European Journal of Pain, 17: 638–648. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00228.x
This work has been financed by a grant from Aarhus University, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, and the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
- Issue published online: 25 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 5 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 AUG 2012
- Aarhus University, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
- Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation
Porcine skin exhibits a high degree of homology to human skin, and the pig has recently been used as a cutaneous pain model. However, before the full potential of this novel in vivo cutaneous pain model can be achieved, several methodological aspects related to the management of awake animal studies in a large species require further examination. This manuscript describes the initial development of a porcine model of cutaneous nociception and focuses on interactions between the sensory modality, body size and the anatomical location of the stimulation site.
Pigs of different body sizes (30 and 60 kg) were exposed to thermal (CO2 laser) and mechanical (pressure application measurement device) stimulations to the flank and the hind legs in a balanced order. The median response latency and the type of behavioural response were recorded.
Small pigs exhibited significantly lower pain thresholds (shorter latency to response) than large pigs to thermal and mechanical stimulations. Stimulations at the two anatomical locations elicited very distinct sets of behavioural responses, with different levels of sensitivity between the flank and the hind legs. Furthermore, small animals exhibited lower levels of individual variability between single stimulations.
Our data indicate that this experimental approach may be valuable for use in studies that focus on porcine cutaneous nociception.