Differential behavioral functioning in the offspring of rats with high vs. low self-administration of the opioid agonist remifentanil.
Opioid use disorder (OUD) has a variety of adverse effects on both the users and their offspring. In the current study, a random group of Sprague-Dawley rats (25 females and 15 males) were tested for intravenous self-administration of the opioid agonist remifentanil to determine the range of acquisition for opioid. One-month after the end of self-administration of remifentanil, rats with the highest intake were mated together and rats with lowest intake were mated together. Then, the offspring of the two groups were tested for anxiety-like behavior, locomotor activity, nociception and intravenous remifentanil self-administration. The parents showed a range of remifentanil self-administration, especially in the female rats. The offspring of the parents with low and high remifentanil self-administration showed significant differences in specific behavioral functions. On the hotplate test of nociception, the female offspring parents with high remifentanil self-administration had significantly longer hotplate latencies, indicating reduced nociception, than the female offspring of parents with low remifentanil-self-administration, whereas there was no difference in the male offspring of low and high responding parents. In the elevated plus maze test of anxiety-like behavior, the offspring of the parents with high remifentanil intake showed more anxiety-like behavior than the offspring of the parents with low remifentanil intake regardless of sex. Locomotor activity was not significantly different. Interestingly, no significant differences in remifentanil self-administration in the offspring of parents with low and high remifentanil self-administration were detected. Overall, our data suggest a considerable range in remifentanil self-administration in rats and the offspring of rats with high opioid self-administration exhibit different behaviors vs offspring of rats with low opioid self-administration.
Rezvani, AH; Wells, C; Hawkey, A; Blair, G; Koburov, R; Ko, A; Schwartz, A; Kim, VJ; Levin, ED
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