Closing the Sex Gap in Preclinical Pain Research
Stephani Sutherland on 27 May 2015
Investigators agree that both males and females should be included in preclinical studies, but should the National Institutes of Health require it?
The Basic Science Research Dinner at the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, held May 13-16 in Palm Springs, California, US, featured a panel of four researchers who took part in a debate on the forthcoming policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for sex equality in preclinical research. The new policy was outlined by the NIH in May 2014 (see PRF related news article). The final form of the policy, which has not yet been made publicly available but is expected to begin to go into effect in October of this year, will require that NIH-funded researchers use female alongside male animals in preclinical studies, and even use primary cells and tissues derived from animals of both sexes. The vast majority of current preclinical studies, including those in the pain field, use exclusively male animals.