Two variables that can be used as pain indices in experimental animal models of arthritis

Yun Cho Yu, Sung Tae Koo, Chang Hoon Kim, Yeoungsu Lyu, James J. Grady, Jin Mo Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Since pain is an important symptom in arthritis, useful behavioral indices for pain in experimental arthritis animal models are important tools for investigative work on arthritis. The purpose of this study was to develop simple and quantifiable behavioral tests, which would represent the level of arthritic pain that develops after induction of inflammation in the knee. Two models of knee joint arthritis were produced: (1) KC model-injection of kaolin and carrageenan into the synovial cavity of the knee, and (2) CFA model-injection of complete Freund's adjuvant into the synovial cavity of the knee. The following three variables were measured before and at various times after the induction of arthritis. As an estimate of the degree of edema, the circumference of the knee was measured. As pain indices, (1) the vocalization threshold of compression force applied to the knee joint was measured to represent tenderness of the joint, and (2) the struggle threshold of the knee extension angle was measured to represent a reduction in range of motion in the arthritic joint. A time course study showed that behavioral changes last for at least 1 week for the KC model and at least 2 weeks for the CFA model. Correlation studies showed that all three variables significantly correlated with each other in both the KC and CFA arthritic models. Systemically injected morphine produced a partial reversal of these indices with the expected time course and dose response of a morphine-induced analgesic. It is concluded that two variables, the struggle threshold for knee extension and the vocalization threshold for knee compression, could be used as simple and useful pain indices in experimental models of arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 30 2002


  • Arthritic model
  • Behavioral test
  • Carrageenan
  • Complete Freund's adjuvant
  • Kaolin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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