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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1991 Dec;40(4):887-91.

Morphine analgesia, tolerance and addiction in the cricket Pteronemobius sp. (Orthoptera, Insecta).

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Departamento Biología de Organismos, Universidad Simón Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela.


The escape reaction time (ERT) of the cricket Pteronemobius sp. from the heated box begins at 48 degrees and increases with temperature until 56 degrees C, beyond which there is no further increase. The ERT (2.2 +/- 1.39 s) from the hot box at 54 degrees C is used as a model for studying the analgesic effects of opiates. Results of the present paper show that the ERT did not change after injecting the insect in the abdominal haemocoel with 0.9% saline solution, but ERT increased when 0.32, 0.52 or 0.69 mg/g of morphine is injected in the same place. The maximum ERT increase is reached at 90 min after drug injection, and the drug effect disappears 3 h after the injection. At 90 min after drug injections, the dose of 0.50 mg/g of morphine produces 50% of ERT increase, and it is referred to as the median analgesic dose (D50). 1.05 mg/g of morphine produces an ERT longer than 30 s that results in an irreversible damage to the insect. Sixty-four micrograms/g of naloxone given in addition to D50 of morphine fully blocked the effect of morphine during its 3-h action. However, more than 64 micrograms/g of naloxone alone also increase the ERT in the cricket, similar to what has been described for vertebrates. Four daily morphine injections of D50 decreased ERT in such a way that, at the fourth day, the ERT is similar to the ERT produced by saline solution; i.e., tolerance is shown. The suppression of daily morphine injections of D50 during the fifth day produced a hyperresponse to vibration (big jumps) not shown in the case of the injections of saline solution; i.e., addiction is shown.

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