The behavioral and neurotropic effects of naloxone in mice


  • S. Yu. Shtrygol’ National University of Pharmacy, Ukraine
  • I. M. Podolsky National University of Pharmacy, Ukraine
  • D. P. Kavraiskyi National University of Pharmacy, Ukraine



naloxone, abstinence, blepharoptosis, the open field test, the rotarod-test, dose-dependency


The methodological recommendations describe various methods for research of the physical dependence development. Most of them recommend provocation using a naloxone injection as the way to induce the withdrawal symptoms and the following evaluation of the animals’ behavior. However, the current methodological recommendations do not give any comments about the effects of naloxone in provoking the withdrawal syndrome that can be mistakenly interpreted as signs of abstinence.
Aim. To study the effects of naloxone in the open field test, the rotarod-test and its ability to cause specific signs of the withdrawal syndrome in mice.
Materials and methods. The study was carried out on random bred mice in two stages. At the first stage, the initial indicators of the animals’ behavior in the open field test, as well as coordination of movements and the muscle tone in the rotarod-test, were examined. At the second stage, the similar studies were performed after injection of naloxone in the doses of 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg. Additionally, the state of mice was studied for the purpose of revealing the specific signs of withdrawal.
Results. It has been found that the administration of naloxone caused certain changes in the state of mice (development of blepharoptosis and head shakes) and a decrease in all open field test subtests at the second stage of the experiment.
Conclusions. The study has shown the ability of naloxone to cause certain changes of the state in mice that can be mistakenly interpreted as “recessive” signs of abstinence. The dose-dependent sedative effect of naloxone in the open field test has been proven; therefore, it should also be taken into account in psychopharmacological studies.

Author Biographies

S. Yu. Shtrygol’, National University of Pharmacy

Doctor of Medicine (Dr. habil.), professor, head of the Department of Pharmacology

I. M. Podolsky, National University of Pharmacy

Candidate of Pharmacy (PhD), associate professor of the Medicinal Chemistry Department

D. P. Kavraiskyi, National University of Pharmacy

postgraduate student of the Department of Pharmacology


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