Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the conversion of heme to biliverdin, iron, and carbon monoxide. Recent studies have demonstrated that inhibitors of HO are analgesic in a number of different pain models. In these studies we attempted to define the role of HO type 2 (HO-2) in the development of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. To do this both wild type and C57Bl/6 HO-2 null mutant mice were either injected with complete Freund[apos ]s adjuvant in 1 hind paw or underwent unilateral partial sciatic nerve ligation. The resulting thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia were monitored for up to 14 days afterward. In both models of chronic pain it was observed that the extent of hyperalgesia and allodynia was significantly less for the HO-2 null mutants than the wild type mice. Additional studies quantified spinal cord dorsal horn Fos expression after brushing of the affected hind paw for both complete Freund[apos ]s adjuvant and partial sciatic nerve ligation treated mice. These studies showed that HO-2 null mutants had less Fos expression after stimulation by brushing than did their wild type counterparts. Our results indicate that HO-2 participates in the thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia that occur in 2 commonly used models of chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.