Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology

Degree Program

Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, MS

Committee Chair

Petruska, Jeffrey

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Magnuson, Eric

Committee Member

Magnuson, Eric

Committee Member


Author's Keywords

nociception; neonatal capsaicin; ATF3


Acute and chronic pain can be extremely debilitating conditions, and a better understanding of their underlying pathology is necessary to provide effective treatment. C-Fibers are responsible for transmission of the majority of nociceptive signals, with TRPV1+ C-Fibers being specific to noxious heat. Formalin, an inflammatory agent, acts through TRPA1+ C-Fibers, which have a high degree of co-localization with TRPV1. Using a neonatal capsaicin preparation, which irreversibly ablates the majority of TRPV1+ C-Fibers, formalin- induced inflammation and subsequent ATF3 expression was investigated. Results provide evidence that in addition to a lack of thermal nociception, animals treated with neonatal capsaicin had a lower threshold for mechanical nociception. Furthermore, neonatal capsaicin treatment reduced formalin- induced allodynia and prevented formalin-induced hyperalgesia. Lastly, treatment with neonatal capsaicin was shown to produce less small- diameter and more intermediate and large-diameter neurons in the DRG compared to vehicle-treated animals, as well as less overall ATF3 expression.