“Pain is a hallmark feature of sickle cell disease (SCD). Subjects typically quantify pain by themselves, which can be biased by other factors leading to overtreatment or under-treatment. Reliable and accurate quantification of pain, in real time, might enable to provide appropriate levels of analgesic treatment.
The mouse grimace scale (MGS), a standardized behavioral coding system with high accuracy and reliability has been used to quantify varied types of pain. We hypothesized that addition of the objective parameters of body length and back curvature will strengthen the reproducibility of MGS.
We examined MGS scores and body length and back curvature of transgenic BERK sickle and control mice following cold treatment or following treatment with analgesic cannabinoid CP55,940. We observed that sickle mice demonstrated decreased length and increased back curvature in response to cold. These observations correlate with changes in facial expression for the MGS score.
CP55,940 treatment of sickle mice showed an increase in body length and a decrease in back curvature concordant with MGS scores indicative of an analgesic effect. Thus, body parameters combined with facial expressions may provide a quantifiable unbiased method for objective measure of pain in SCD.”