Men and women react different to many situations, just ask any married couple about how to load the dishwasher, but a new study using mice shows our mechanisms for perceiving pain are vastly different.

Cells within the immune system called microglia respond to injury or inflammation via signals to the brain to sensitize the body to pain. Two groups of mice, one male and one female, were given a known treatment for pain following nerve injury. All males showed decreased pain but none of the females. A second cohort using microglial killing treatment showed the same outcome effectively showing that females have another pain mechanism than the microglia.

This points to better experimental designs and effectiveness in animal research before clinical trials.

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