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    Opioid use disorder is a growing concern in the United States. Mice were used to investigate the mechanisms involving opioid physical dependence and for evaluating medications for treating opioid use disorders. While there are many preclinical reports describing protocols for inducing physical dependence upon morphine, there are fewer preclinical reports describing more contemporary abused prescription opiates. The goal of this study was to characterize and validate a mouse model of oxycodone dependence. Male C57BL/6J mice were injected with saline or increasing doses of oxycodone (9-33 mg/kg) twice daily for 8 days. On the 9th day, mice were challenged with 1 mg/kg naloxone and observed for somatic signs. Mice were pretreated with oxycodone (17, 33, or 75 mg/kg) prior to withdrawal to determine if it could attenuate somatic withdrawal signs. Additional mouse groups were pretreated with 1 mg/kg clonidine. Lastly, we measured somatic signs for 6, 24, and 48 h post-withdrawal during spontaneous and precipitated withdrawal. Pretreating with oxycodone or clonidine dose-dependently prevented the emergence of withdrawal signs. Mice chronically treated with oxycodone exhibited more withdrawal signs than vehicle at 24 h after the final injection during spontaneous withdrawal. In contrast, mice that received repeated naloxone challenges showed peak withdrawal signs at 6 h, and withdrawal signs were significantly greater at all time points compared to vehicle. Reversal of withdrawal effects by positive controls, and establishing spontaneous and precipitated withdrawal paradigms, serve as validation of this model and provide a means to examine novel therapeutics to treat opioid withdrawal. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.


    Moriah Carper, Katherine M Contreras, D Matthew Walentiny, Patrick M Beardsley, M Imad Damaj. Validation and characterization of oxycodone physical dependence in C57BL/6J mice. European journal of pharmacology. 2021 Apr 23;903:174111

    PMID: 33901461

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