The streptozocin model of diabetes induces neuropathic pain, anhedonia and impaired burrowing in rats
Many diabetic patients experience chronic neuropathic pain leading to a reduced quality of life which poses a huge economic burden to the health system and society. There is a dire need to develop more efficacious analgesics as the majority of patients respond poorly to available treatments. The predictive validity of animal models for analgesia may be improved by reinstating specific innate rodent emotional wellbeing behaviours suppressed by pain (e.g. burrowing, sucrose preference). Streptozocin (STZ) given systemically to rats induces rapid and sustained changes that are seen in diabetic patients i.e. hyperglycaemia, polydypsia and frequently neuropathic pain. In this study we investigated whether the development of STZ induced diabetes in rats over 18 days reduces burrowing and sucrose preference (a measure of anhedonia) in line with neuropathic pain (static allodynia) and if these wellbeing behaviours can be improved by the analgesic, pregabalin and/or social paired housing.