Evaluating Baseline and Sensitised Heat Nociception in Adult Drosophila

Josephine N. Massingham, Olga Baron*, G. Gregory Neely*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Chronic pain is a complex disease that affects a large proportion of the population. With little to no effective treatments currently available for patients, this malady presents a large burden to society. Drosophila melanogaster has been previously used to describe conserved molecular components of nociception in larvae and adults. However, adult assays tend to rely on avoidance behaviours, and whilst larval acute thermal avoidance assays exist, larvae are not best suited to a chronic pain scenario as the condition must be long-term. Therefore, an adult thermal nociception response assay was required to study injury-evoked changes in heat nociception threshold (allodynia and hyperalgesia) over time, and we describe such a protocol here. Following leg amputation, flies display increased thermal sensitivity (allodynia) to innocuous temperatures but not an increase in magnitude of response (hyperalgesia) to noxious heat. Our method allows for individualised analysis of both allodynia and hyperalgesia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4079
JournalBio-protocol LLC
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021


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