Stress: the International Journal on the Biology of Stress
Taylor and Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Exposure to chronic stress can influence nociception and further induce hyperalgesia. Whether stress modulation of pain in female animals occurs in an estrous cycle-specific manner is still unclear. We profiled the changes in nociception (thermal, mechanical, formalin-evoked acute and inflammatory pain) of female Sprague-Dawley rats after treatment with chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and investigated whether these changes occur in an estrous cycle-dependent manner. The results showed that CUMS female rats exhibited a lower mechanical withdrawal threshold in proestrus and estrus, a longer formalin-evoked licking time in metestrus and diestrus, but no changes in the latency time on the tail-flick test. The present study findings suggest that chronic stress induces mechanical and formalin-evoked acute hyperalgesia of female rats in an estrous cycle-dependent manner.