Although animal pain models may be highly sensitive to small changes in animal care, all relevant details are usually not reported in research papers, potentially resulting in increased inter-laboratory variability. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the type of bedding rats are housed on affects the development to allodinya following sciatic nerve ligation (Chronic Constrictive Injury model - CCI). Two types of bedding were compared, the first containing spruce shavings (J.Rettenmaier&söhne GmbH+Co KG, Germany; standard bedding for our laboratory in past), and the other containing cob corn chips («KKZ «Zolotoy pochatok» LLC, Russia; standard bedding for our laboratory in present). Tactile sensitivity thresholds were assessed with von Frey filaments before and during periods of 7 or 21 days following sciatic nerve ligation in male and female Wistar rats. The results of the present experiment indicate that the bedding type that animals are housed can markedly affect the development of tactile allodynia induced by CCI. Hard cob corn bedding resulted in the least sensitive thresholds for mechanical stimuli. Therefore, careful consideration should be used when selecting routine cage bedding material for animals that will be tested in sensitivity of paw plantar surface assay.
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