Susana G. Sotocinal

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Empathy is thought to be unique to higher primates, possibly to humans alone. We report the modulation of pain sensitivity in mice produced solely by exposure to their cagemates, but not to strangers, in pain. Mice tested in dyads and given an identical noxious stimulus displayed increased pain behaviors with statistically greater co-occurrence, effects(More)
Facial expression is widely used as a measure of pain in infants; whether nonhuman animals display such pain expressions has never been systematically assessed. We developed the mouse grimace scale (MGS), a standardized behavioral coding system with high accuracy and reliability; assays involving noxious stimuli of moderate duration are accompanied by(More)
We recently demonstrated the utility of quantifying spontaneous pain in mice via the blinded coding of facial expressions. As the majority of preclinical pain research is in fact performed in the laboratory rat, we attempted to modify the scale for use in this species. We present herein the Rat Grimace Scale, and show its reliability, accuracy, and ability(More)
Postoperative pain management in animals is complicated greatly by the inability to recognize pain. As a result, the choice of analgesics and their doses has been based on extrapolation from greatly differing pain models or the use of measures with unclear relevance to pain. We recently developed the Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS), a facial-expression-based(More)
BACKGROUND Current behaviour-based pain assessments for laboratory rodents have significant limitations. Assessment of facial expression changes, as a novel means of pain scoring, may overcome some of these limitations. The Mouse Grimace Scale appears to offer a means of assessing post-operative pain in mice that is as effective as manual behavioural-based(More)
We found that exposure of mice and rats to male but not female experimenters produces pain inhibition. Male-related stimuli induced a robust physiological stress response that results in stress-induced analgesia. This effect could be replicated with T-shirts worn by men, bedding material from gonadally intact and unfamiliar male mammals, and presentation of(More)
A large and rapidly increasing body of evidence indicates that microglia-to-neuron signaling is essential for chronic pain hypersensitivity. Using multiple approaches, we found that microglia are not required for mechanical pain hypersensitivity in female mice; female mice achieved similar levels of pain hypersensitivity using adaptive immune cells, likely(More)
The neuropeptides oxytocin (OXT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) contribute to the regulation of diverse cognitive and physiological functions including nociception. Indeed, OXT has been reported to be analgesic when administered directly into the brain, the spinal cord, or systemically. Here, we characterized the phenotype of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and(More)
Spinal cord neurons respond to peripheral noxious stimuli and relay this information to higher brain centers, but the molecules controlling the assembly of such pathways are poorly known. In this study, we use the intersection of Lmx1b and Hoxb8::Cre expression in the spinal cord to genetically define nociceptive circuits. Specifically, we show that Lmx1b,(More)
The innate immune system is increasingly appreciated to play an important role in the mediation of chronic pain, and one molecule implicated in this process is the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Here, using pharmacological and genetic manipulations, we found that activating TLR4 in the spinal cord, with the agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS), causes robust(More)