The von Frey was run as a measure of mechanical nociceptive responsivity (Chaplan et al. 1994; Le Bars et al. 2001). The apparatus consisted of a grated stage (L72 × W36 × H37 cm), with a grid of 0.6 × 0.6 cm squares attached to the top of the stage. Enclosed boxes were place on top of the grid to contain the rat. At each time, the animal was habituated over 2 consecutive days by being placed inside the box and left undisturbed for 20 min, then being returned to its’ home-cage. On the testing day, the animal was again habituated to the box for 20 min, following which a series of increasingly large filaments were applied to its’ hind paws. Each filament was applied 5× to each hind paw and the number of reactions (withdrawal of hind paw) were recorded. Increasing sizes of filaments were used until the number of reactions for each paw was 5/5; this filament size was recorded. Larger filament size indicated a greater mechanical nociceptive threshold.

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