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Papers: 7 Oct 2023 - 13 Oct 2023

2023 Oct 09

Physiol Behav


Continuous Fentanyl Administration and Spontaneous Withdrawal Decreases Home Cage Wheel Running in Rats with and without Hindpaw Inflammation.


Morgan MM, Hilgendorf TN, Kandasamy R


Fentanyl is a potent analgesic with a rapid onset and short half-life that make it a useful treatment for pain and a lethal drug of abuse. The present study used voluntary home cage wheel running to assess the effect of hindpaw inflammation, fentanyl administration, and spontaneous fentanyl withdrawal. Fentanyl (0.32 or 1.0 mg/kg/day) or placebo osmotic pumps were implanted subcutaneously and rats received an intraplantar injection of Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) or saline. Rats with hindpaw inflammation caused by CFA administration were less active than rats injected with saline into the hindpaw. The antinociceptive effect of 0.32 mg/kg/day of fentanyl was evident as a recovery of wheel running in these rats. Administration of 1 mg/kg/day of fentanyl almost completely inhibited wheel running during the first day in rats with and without hindpaw inflammation. Wheel running increased each subsequent day until the pumps were surgically removed after Day 3. Withdrawal from 0.32 or 1 mg/kg/day of fentanyl caused a decrease in wheel running that lasted 2 days in rats without hindpaw inflammation. In contrast, withdrawal was only evident following termination of 1 mg/kg/day of fentanyl in rats with hindpaw inflammation. This decrease in running seemed to persist beyond the 3 days of assessment. These data demonstrate that fentanyl can either depress or restore activity depending on the dose and pain condition. Moreover, termination of3 days of continuous fentanyl administration resulted in a dose and time dependent decrease in wheel running consistent with opioid withdrawal.