Abstract # 227:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 11:30 AM-11:45 AM: Session 30 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


L. R. Hamilton1, D. M. Cox2 and T. M. Myers1
1United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Neurobehavioral Toxicology Branch, Analytical Toxicology Division, Research Support Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010, USA, 2Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Branch, Research Support Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense

A 6-year-old male cynomolgus macaque presented with noticeable swelling of the left forearm and signs of discomfort, as indicated by non-use of the arm even in a behavioral task in which he had previously been well-motivated to perform. Examination under anesthesia revealed lacerations to the arm previously hidden by the monkey’s guarding of the limb. Radiography of the forearm showed no fractures, indicating the damage was limited to soft tissue. The daily operant behavioral session assessed the amount of force the monkey emitted when touching the screen with the affected arm and how long each touch was sustained. These parameters (force and duration of touch) were then used as an objective measure of putative pain relief and recovery of function to guide the veterinary treatment. The affected monkey was administered ketoprofen, buprenex, or the combination but the monkey continued to perform poorly during the daily operant behavioral session. Only after treatment with dexamethasone did the performance return to pre-injury levels, suggesting inflammation near the radial or ulnar nerve(s). In summary, trained operant performances can be useful in guiding and evaluating pain relief and effective veterinary treatment and objectively monitoring health in laboratory animals. All experimental protocols were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee at the USAMRICD and all procedures were conducted in accordance with the principles stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1996, and the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended. This research was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Medical S&T Division. The opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.