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Neonatal stress from limited bedding elicits visceral hyperalgesia in adult rats


Early life stress is a risk factor for developing functional pain disorders. The 'limited bedding' (LB) model elicits psychological stress in the dam and her pups by providing minimal nesting material following delivery. Little is known about the effects of LB on visceral pain. Rats (female, male) were exposed to LB on postnatal days 2-9. Electromyographic visceromotor responses were recorded at the age of 11-12 weeks during titrated colorectal distension. LB exposure resulted in significant visceral hyperalgesia in both sexes. Sex differences were demonstrated only in nonstressed controls, with females showing a greater visceromotor response. Our results prepare the way for use of the LB model in studying the development of visceral pain in adults with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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