Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2014 Oct;41(10):838-43. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12274.

Chronic morphine and tramadol re-exposure induced an anti-anxiety effect in prepubertal rats exposed neonatally to the same drugs.

Author information

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran.


Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders. Drugs that are often administered to manage medical problems cause rebound anxiety. The use of morphine and tramadol has increased in recent decades. In the present study, the effects of morphine and tramadol exposure during the neonatal and prepubertal periods on anxiety-like behaviours in prepubertal rats were investigated. Male neonate rats were injected subcutaneously with saline, morphine or tramadol (3-21 mg/kg) on a daily basis from postnatal Day (P) 8 to P14. On P22, rats were divided into seven groups (saline/saline, saline/tramadol, saline/morphine, tramadol/saline, tramadol/tramadol, morphine/saline and morphine/morphine) and were injected with saline, tramadol or morphine for seven consecutive days. All rats were tested in an elevated plus maze (EPM) on P24 (acute effects), P27 (chronic effects) and P29. Locomotor activity was increased by the second and third exposure to the EPM. Re-exposure to chronic morphine and tramadol resulted in increased locomotor activity, whereas acute and chronic administration of these drugs induced no notable difference. Anxiety decreased markedly after re-exposure to tramadol and this anxiolytic-like behaviour was more dominant in EPM re-exposure in rats that had received higher doses of tramadol. Re-exposure to tramadol elicited a stronger anxiolytic-like behaviour than re-exposure to morphine. It can be concluded that repeated morphine and tramadol administration during the neonatal period followed by re-exposure to these drugs at an immature stage produces considerable anxiolytic-like behaviour. Exposure to chronic morphine and tramadol during the neonatal period may affect the developing brain, which may induce long-term changes in the opioid response.


anxiety; elevated plus maze; morphine; neonatal; prepubertal; tramadol

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center