by Sheng-Guang Li, Jin-Yan Wang, Fei Luo
Previous animal studies have illustrated a modulatory effect of neonatal pain experience on subsequent pain-related behaviors. However, the relationship between chronic pain status in adulthood and future pain perception remains unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings
In the current study, we investigated the effects of inflammatory pain experience on subsequent formalin-evoked pain behaviors and fear conditioning induced by noxious stimulation in adult rats. Our results demonstrated an increase of the second but not the first phase of formalin-induced pain behaviors in animals with a history of inflammatory pain that have recovered. Similarly, rats with persistent pain experience displayed facilitated acquisition and prolonged retention of pain-related conditioning. These effects of prior pain experience on subsequent behavior were prevented by repeated morphine administration at an early stage of inflammatory pain. Conclusions/Significance
These results suggest that chronic pain diseases, if not properly and promptly treated, may have a long-lasting impact on processing and perception of environmental threats. This may increase the susceptibility of patients to subsequent pain-related disorders, even when chronic pain develops in adulthood. These data highlight the importance of treatment of chronic pain at an early stage.