In the present study we have attempted to characterize, in mice, a situation which appears to simulate real life predation and elicits simultaneous analgesia and immobility. We utilized pinch produced by clip application to various regions of the body and examined its effect on responsiveness to noxious stimuli and motor behavior. Intense noxious clip was applied to the nape of the neck, back and base of the tail. The area most effective for the elicitation of both clip induced analgesia and immobility was the nape of the neck while tail pinch resulted in analgesia but not immobility. Evidence is provided that different systems are responsible for clip induced immobility and analgesia. Temporal dissociation of clip induced analgesia and immobility could be demonstrated with continuous clip application for 30 min showing a different time course for the analgesic and immobilizing effects. Different stimuli were effective in eliciting clip induced analgesia and immobility with noxious stimuli essential for the induction of clip induced analgesia and innocuous stimuli sufficient for clip induced immobility. Thus, low analgesic doses of local anesthetics injected into the nape of the neck prevented noxious clip from inducing analgesia but immobility was still evident. In contrast, nonnoxious pinch to the nape of the neck elicited immobility but not analgesia and clip induced immobility could still be induced after the administration of high doses of morphine which completely blocked responses to noxious stimuli. These results demonstrate that in a situation resembling natural predation both analgesia and immobility are produced concurrently but that these behavioral phenomena can be elicited differentially and may be mediated by different independent systems.
- Animal hypnosis
- Tonic immobility