Do cells feel pain?

Nick Theodorakis nicholas_theodorakis at
Wed Feb 23 00:41:00 EST 2000

In article <88vc64$mno$1 at>,
hoekstra at (Ken Hoekstra) wrote:
>Out with the embryo developmental biology books again. I raise
>question in regards to revisions being made to our Animal Care
policies at
>the University of British Columbia. Currently, cell/tissue
>requires a  Animal Care Certificate--however, this may change
if it is
>determined that "pain", stress or disstress as it is sometimes
>cannot be measured at all levels of cell growth etc...
>Im actually looking for resources for ways of
determining/measuring stress
>(in the broadest form) in cells. If your cell twitches, flinches
>etc.. during the addition of chemicals etc.., is this stressful
or can I
>even go so far as to say "painful" to the cell?
>Could someone define/help me determine when nervous sensation
is present
>in developing rat/mice cells (any type) for example? At this
time, is it
>possible to measure the "stress" the cell is exposed too?

I don't know about "pain," but there are several markers of
various cell stresses: "stress proteins," (Heat shock proteins,
e.g., hsp70); stress-activated protein kinases, such as JNK or
p38; markers for oxidative stress (e.g., heme oxygenase), and

Check the Stressgen catalog (no affiliation); they sell a lot of
these reagents. Hey, come to think of it, they're in BC.

BTW, how did you end up with such a crazy policy regarding cell

Nick Theodorakis

nicholas_theodorakis at

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