To examine the effects of change in meteorological parameters on pain-related behaviors in a simulated arthritic condition, rats with an injection of complete Freund's adjuvant into the tibio-tarsal joint were exposed to low barometric pressure (20 mmHg below the natural atmospheric pressure) and low ambient temperature (7°C lower than 22°C) in a climate-controlled room. When the arthritic rats were exposed to these environments, the already increased number of hindpaw withdrawals in response to noxious mechanical stimulation (hyperalgesia) was further increased, and a hindpaw withdrawal response to innocuous mechanical stimulation (allodynia) began to occur. Such exposures did not influence any of the pain-related behaviors of the control rats. These results show that lowering barometric pressure and ambient temperature within the range of natural environmental fluctuation intensify pain in arthritic rats.
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