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Pain. 2007 Jul;130(1-2):108-18. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Effects of vasectomy surgery and meloxicam treatment on faecal corticosterone levels and behaviour in two strains of laboratory mouse.

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  • 1Comparative Biology Centre, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.


Behaviour was assessed in 32 C57BL/6JCrl and 32 C3H/HeN male mice 1 h following vasectomy; saline or meloxicam was administered 30 min prior to surgery at 5, 10, or 20 mg kg(-1). Faeces were collected 24 h prior to, and 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 h following, vasectomy for measurement of faecal corticosterone. Peak corticosterone levels were significantly higher in mice that underwent vasectomy and received saline (p<0.001) or meloxicam at 5 or 10 mg kg(-1) (p=0.021, and p<0.001, respectively) compared with normal un-operated controls. Mice that underwent vasectomy and received 20 mg kg(-1) meloxicam had peak corticosterone levels that were not different from normal un-operated mice (p=0.254). Discriminant analysis was used to identify behaviours responsible for group separation; these were summed to create two behaviour scores. Score 2 (the frequency of flinching, writhing, rear leg lift and press 2) was thought to be pain related; mice that underwent vasectomy and received saline exhibited significantly more of these behaviours than the normal controls (p=0.032), and the mice that received meloxicam (at any dose). Strain differences were observed in both the stress response to vasectomy and the behavioural changes; the C3H/HeN mice had higher pain scores (behaviour Score 2) and peak corticosterone responses than the C57BL/6JCrl mice. We have demonstrated that significant changes occur in the behaviour of mice following vasectomy, and these changes are reduced by use of meloxicam. Vasectomy elicits a rise in corticosterone levels that was only reduced by the highest dose of meloxicam.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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