Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. John Fryer

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


This study examines the effects of neurotensin (NT) receptor sites on the sensation of visceral pain. Previous work by researchers has found, through the use of NT analogs, that visceral pain is closely associated with NT receptor 2 (NTSR2). This study tested 70 genetically modified mice. The mice were either missing NTSR1, NTSR2, or were wild-type (WT) mice that were not missing any NT receptors. The mice were injected intraperitoneally with either saline or acetic acid then observed for a 60 minute period and writhing behavior was recorded. Twenty four hours later activity levels were recorded in the open field assay. We found that contrary to previous research, NTSR2 is not solely responsible in the sensation of visceral pain. We also found that NTSR1 plays a more significant role than NTSR2, contrary to previous research. Additionally, we found that the NT receptors may be affected by age related factors. The findings of this study suggest that NTSR2 does in fact play a role in the sensation of visceral pain but that NTSR1 may modulate the degree of activation of NTSR2. It can also be concluded that age may have a role in the effectiveness of NTSR sites in visceral pain. This information allows for further research to analyze possible age-dependent effects of NT receptor sites that could alter the possible usefulness of NT analogues in the future.