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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 Dec;34(4):911-4.

Relationships between sustained sucrose-feeding and opioid tolerance and withdrawal.

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  • 1Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


This study examines the effect of sustained sucrose consumption on the development of tolerance to morphine analgesia (20 mg/kg IP injections) and subsequent, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal (2 mg/kg IP). Food intakes are also measured. Sprague-Dawley rats were allowed ad lib access to a 20% sucrose solution in addition to their normal diet. Pain thresholds and intakes were monitored for two weeks, then morphine tolerance was induced, followed by precipitated withdrawal. Tolerance was assayed by the tailflick method, and withdrawal was gauged by weight loss. The animals given access to sucrose developed lowered pain thresholds prior to tolerance induction relative to those of control animals, but they failed to exhibit any differences from controls in tolerance development of severity of withdrawal. The induction of tolerance first decreased, then increased sucrose consumption and steadily decreased chow consumption. Naloxone-precipitated withdrawal decreased chow consumption, but failed to affect the ingestion of the sucrose solution. It is concluded that changes in opioid function caused by sustained sucrose-feeding are insufficient to affect the development of tolerance to morphine analgesia; however, tolerance induction biphasically alters sucrose consumption.

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