Trigeminal Inflammatory Compression (TIC) injury induces chronic facial pain and susceptibility to anxiety-related behaviors

D. N. Lyons, T. C. Kniffin, L. P. Zhang, R. J. Danaher, C. S. Miller, J. L. Bocanegra, C. R. Carlson, K. N. Westlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Our laboratory previously developed a novel neuropathic and inflammatory facial pain model for mice referred to as the Trigeminal Inflammatory Compression (TIC) model. Rather than inducing whole nerve ischemia and neuronal loss, this injury induces only slight peripheral nerve demyelination triggering long-term mechanical allodynia and cold hypersensitivity on the ipsilateral whisker pad. The aim of the present study is to further characterize the phenotype of the TIC injury model using specific behavioral assays (i.e. light-dark box, open field exploratory activity, and elevated plus maze) to explore pain- and anxiety-like behaviors associated with this model. Our findings determined that the TIC injury produces hypersensitivity 100% of the time after surgery that persists at least 21. weeks post injury (until the animals are euthanized). Three receptive field sensitivity pattern variations in mice with TIC injury are specified. Animals with TIC injury begin displaying anxiety-like behavior in the light-dark box preference and open field exploratory tests at week eight post injury as compared to sham and naïve animals. Panic anxiety-like behavior was shown in the elevated plus maze in mice with TIC injury if the test was preceded with acoustic startle. Thus, in addition to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity, the present study identified significant anxiety-like behaviors in mice with TIC injury resembling the clinical symptomatology and psychosocial impairments of patients with chronic facial pain. Overall, the TIC injury model's chronicity, reproducibility, and reliability in producing pain- and anxiety-like behaviors demonstrate its usefulness as a chronic neuropathic facial pain model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-138
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the NIH COBRE 2P20RR020145-06 (RJD), NIH R01-039041 (KNW), and a $20,000 donation to student salaries (KNW).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IBRO.


  • Acoustic startle
  • Chronic orofacial pain
  • Mouse model
  • Nerve injury
  • Operant tests
  • Stress-induced analgesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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