During this initial reporting period the novel pilot study that was developed, approved by the IACUC, and initiated in 2012 saw the first cohort of animals complete the experiment. The pilot involves the surgical implantation of cells into the gastrointestinal tract of mice to mimic the induction of gastrointestinal symptom distress. The mice are then randomized into an intervention group or control group. Pilot imaging data of the resulting gastrointestinal pathology, data on animal activity levels and disease progression have been collected on the first cohort of animals. Knowledge gained from the successful completion of the experiment have been important in refining the design of the experimental model, and contributed some initial insights into the mechanistic properties of biobehavioral interventions. A second collaborative study was initiated in 2013 and uses a chronic stress model of abdominal pain in rats to generate peripheral and tissue specific whole-genome gene expression data to complement parallel data collected from human patients with CAP enrolled in clinical protocols. Molecular purification protocols for this study have been optimized and validated. The initial batch of blood and tissue samples is undergoing processing to identify relevant biomarkers. Subsequent studies will elucidate the mechanism(s) underlying altered expression of the biomarkers and correlate with the pathophysiological significance.

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National Institute of Nursing Research
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