Ph.D., Dr. Habil., D.Sc.
Supervisor: PETHŐ, Gábor
Measurement of the noxious heat threshold is a new concept in the investigation of heat-induced pain, i.e. thermonociception in awake animals. Conventional methods of thermonociception measure the latency (i.e. time) of pain-avoiding (nocifensive) behavioral reactions evoked by a suprathreshold heat stimulus. In contrast, with the recently developed increasing-temperature water bath it is possible to measure the noxious heat threshold of the hind paw or tail in rats or mice by determining the lowest bath temperature that can evoke a nocifensive reaction. This novel equipment has been validated in several experimental models in which heat hyperalgesia manifested itself as a decrease of the noxious heat threshold. Future work aims at investigating other paradigms associated with a drop of heat threshold and revealing their mediators as well as pharmacological modulation including testing of analgesics.