Formalin Analgesia Assay
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The formalin chemical nociception assay is a commonly used analgesia assay that is typically included in a battery of analgesic tests. Formalin produces a painful irritation when injected into the skin of experimental animals that can be measured as a licking response.
Formalin nociception is typically described as occurring in two phases:
- Phase I which is an acute response to the formalin injection and occurs almost immediately after injection and lasting for between 5 to 10 minutes,
- Phase II, which lasts from approximately 20 to 40 minutes after injection is caused by a central sensitization activity.
Formalin induced chemical nociception can be attenuated by classical anti-nociceptive agents including opioids and GABA enhancers. We include the formalin assay in a battery of analgesia assays that include the thermal nociceptive assay and the touch sensitivity assay.
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The Formalin Analgesia model is typically run in an acute mode (study completed in one day) by evaluating test articles after a single administration. The variability is relatively low and statistical significance may be achieved with group sizes of about 8 to 10 animals. It can be performed in both mice and rats.