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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2012 Feb;30(1):25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2011.10.004. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Fentanyl administration in infant rats produces long-term behavioral responses.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pharmacology of Pain, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Basic Health Sciences (ICBS), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), 90050-170 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Considering the importance of studies in animal models that are focused on systems involved in pain mechanisms, this investigation aimed to evaluate the effects of pharmacological treatments on the behavioral responses of younger animals. To this end, we evaluated the effect of an acute dose of fentanyl (FEN) or S(+)-ketamine (KET) at postnatal day 14 (P14) upon behavioral responses in the short- (P14), medium- (P30) and long-term (P60) using the open field (OF), elevated plus-maze (EPM) and formalin tests (FT) and tail-flick latency. Fourteen-day-old male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control (CT), fentanyl (FEN) and S(+)ketamine (KET) groups for statistical analysis, it was performed two-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni. We found that, regardless of the test performed (OF or EPM), between-group differences occurred over time in all behaviors analyzed, including in the second phase of FT. In addition, EPM showed significant differences in behavioral responses related to acute administration (at P14) of fentanyl or S(+)-ketamine, in behaviors such as number of entries in open and closed arms, time spent in open and closed arms, and number of head-dipping. In relation to nociceptive response, the FEN group exhibited a decrease in the first phase of FT. These results indicate that unique administration of fentanyl or S(+)ketamine in an early period of life (P14) can promote changes in behavioral responses. In addition, our findings highlight the importance of extending the investigation of the effect of drug administration in young rats into adulthood.

Copyright © 2011 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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