Anterior and posterior, but not cheek, intraoral cannulation procedures elevate serum corticosterone levels in neonatal rat pups.
Implantation of intraoral cannulas is a procedure that has been typically assumed to be relatively unstressful in neonatal rat pups. To test this assumption, endocrine responses to such implantations were compared with those of other standard procedures. In Experiment 1, corticosterone and growth hormone (GH) levels were assessed in 4-day-old rat pups placed in an incubator for 15 or 60 min following either: no treatment, subcutaneous (sc) injection of 0.9% NaCl, anterior or posterior intraoral cannulation, ice anesthesia or ether anesthesia. Corticosterone levels were elevated relative to nontreated controls 15 min after all treatments except sc injection. These levels remained elevated after 60 min in both cannulation groups and the ice anesthesia group. In Experiment 2, the ability of ether anesthesia to reduce the hormonal response to the cannulation procedures was assessed in addition to examining the hormonal response to intraoral cannulations through the cheek in 4-day-old rat pups. Ether did not attenuate the corticosterone response to either anterior or posterior cannulations. Pups subjected to the cheek cannulation procedure did not exhibit any significant alterations in serum corticosterone levels when compared with nontreated control pups. GH levels were found to differentiate less among the various procedures than corticosterone levels, with GH levels generally being low in all groups, including nontreated control animals. These data suggest that a cheek placement is less stressful than anterior and posterior placements and may provide a viable alternative in studies necessitating the implantation of cannula into the buccal cavity during the early postnatal period.
Spear, LP; Specht, SM; Kirstein, CL; Kuhn, CM
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