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Braz J Med Biol Res. 1993 Jul;26(7):747-51.

Neonatal treatment with naloxone causes permanent hyperalgesia in rats.

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Departamento de Nutric√£o, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brasil.


The effect of treatment with naloxone early in life on pain responsiveness was studied in Wistar rats. Litters of six rats were divided equally into groups of 3 pups receiving daily naloxone (50 mg/kg, sc) and 3 pups receiving saline from the 3rd to 18th day of life. On days 30, 50, 70 and 90, one group of animals previously injected during suckling with naloxone (N = 21) and another with saline (N = 21) were submitted to the hot-plate test to measure the latency to paw licking. Other groups of rats also treated during suckling with naloxone (N = 13) and saline (N = 14) were assessed for the antinociceptive effect of morphine (10 mg/kg,sc). The naloxone group displayed a lower latency than the saline group in all test sessions and a diminished analgesic response to morphine. The results indicate that the use of naloxone (an antagonist opioid) during suckling, the brain growth spurt period, facilitates a long-lasting increased pain responsiveness and alters antialgesic mechanisms. In this respect, the opioid and non-opioid effects of naloxone on the ontogeny of neural systems should be taken into account.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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