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Neuropeptide deficient mice have attenuated nociceptive, vascular, and inflammatory changes in a tibia fracture model of complex regional pain syndrome

Tian-Zhi Guo, Tzuping Wei, Xiaoyou Shi, Wen-Wu Li, Saiyun Hou, Liping Wang, Kazutake Tsujikawa, Kenner C Rice, Kejun Cheng, David J Clark and Wade S Kingery*

Molecular Pain 2012, 8:85  doi:10.1186/1744-8069-8-85

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Unclear which control group was used

Jeffrey Petruska   (2014-01-06 15:44)  University of Louisville email

The premise of the manuscript is very interesting and I greatly appreciate the approach of examining how injury to one tissue can influence sensory function of separate tissue. However, the data would be more impactful and more useful if the groups were described more clearly.
The figures and text do not make it clear which control group was used in the measurements of cytokines and NGF (Figure 4). Three separate "controls" were detailed in the Methods and have data presented in Figure 2. However, neither the text nor Figure 4 or its legend clearly indicates which "control" was used in that comparison. The text indicates "Hindpaw skin was collected the day after cast removal (3 weeks post-fracture)", but what of the group that did not receive fracture? Were they casted or not casted? Figure 2 uses the same "WT Control" label as Figure 4. In Figure 2 "WT Control" was clearly indicated to be the group of WT mice with no treatment (that is no casting, no injury). Is the "WT Control" in Figure 4 the same? If so, then how can one determine if the changes in cytokine and NGF in the fracture group are due to the fracture or to the casting, or perhaps what proportion of the change is due to each component of the treatment? The casting without any bone injury affected the behavior (Figure 2), so why was this group not included in the molecular measurements? More importantly, it is unfortunate that one cannot tell which control was used.

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