Introduction: Glabrous skin and hairy skin are innervated by different types of noxious fibers. However, the different nociceptive behaviors induced by formalin, a commonly used model of acute inflammatory pain, have not yet been systematically examined in the glabrous and hairy skin.
Methods: In this study, we compared nociceptive behaviors induced by formalin injections (2%, 4%, and 8%) into either glabrous skin (plantar surface) of the hind paw or hairy skin of the hin limb in adult rats.
Results: A typical biphasic nociceptive response was seen after formalin injection into the plantar surface of the hind paw. A brief interphase separates the first and second phases where nociceptive behaviors were barely spotted. However, following subcutaneous injection into the hairy skin nociceptive behaviors were only seen after 10 minutes of formalin injection, which correlates in time with the second phase of the formalin response. First phase nociceptive behaviors were
never seen with hairy skin injection, even following multiple injections of formalin.
Conclusion: These data suggest that nociceptive behaviors and spinal responses induced by formalin injections to glabrous and hairy skin areas are different, and that the first and second phases may be mediated through different noxious afferent fibers.