Animal models of rheumatoid pain: Experimental systems and insights

Bradford D. Fischer, Adeshina Adeyemo, Michael E. O'Leary, Andrea Bottaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Severe chronic pain is one of the hallmarks and most debilitating manifestations of inflammatory arthritis. It represents a significant problem in the clinical management of patients with common chronic inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and spondyloarthropathies. The functional links between peripheral inflammatory signals and the establishment of the neuroadaptive mechanisms acting in nociceptors and in the central nervous system in the establishment of chronic and neuropathic pain are still poorly understood, representing an area of intense study and translational priority. Several well-established inducible and spontaneous animal models are available to study the onset, progression and chronicization of inflammatory joint disease, and have been instrumental in elucidating its immunopathogenesis. However, quantitative assessment of pain in animal models is technically and conceptually challenging, and it is only in recent years that inflammatory arthritis models have begun to be utilized systematically in experimental pain studies using behavioral and neurophysiological approaches to characterize acute and chronic pain stages. This article aims primarily to provide clinical and experimental rheumatologists with an overview of current animal models of arthritis pain, and to summarize emerging findings, challenges and unanswered questions in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 30 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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