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Can J Vet Res. 1994 Jul;58(3):163-6.

Comparative effects of mu and kappa opiate agonists on the cecocolic motility in the pony.

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Laboratoire d'Anatomie, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, France.


The electrical and mechanical activity of the large intestine and its response to administration of opiate mu and kappa agonists were assessed from electrodes and inductograph coils chronically implanted on the cecocolic segment in six ponies given a diet of hay and concentrates. Before the drugs were given, migrating complexes propagating from the cecum into the colon occurred at the rate of 1.5 to 16/hour. During this propulsive activity, the cecocolic sphincter opened and closed allowing the outflow of cecal contents and preventing the backflow of colic contents. Each pony was used as its own control and was given fentanyl (0.01 and 0.05 mg/kg of body weight, IV) and U50488H (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg, IV) at weekly intervals. The mu agonist fentanyl elicited a marked phase of inhibition of the propulsive activity and a closure of the cecocolic sphincter that lasted one to two hours depending on the dose. The kappa agonist U50488H induced an inhibition of the short spiking activity, i.e. of the resting muscle tone. It did not disturb the occurrence of migrating complexes nor that of the openings of the cecocolic sphincter. These kappa compounds may be drugs of choice to alleviate visceral pain in colic stases without inducing delay of transit unlike mu compounds.

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