MECHANISMS OF THE AGE-RELATED DIFFERENCES IN MORPHINE'S EFFECTS ON THERMOREGULATION, ANALGESIA, RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION AND THERMIC TOLERANCE IN RATS
AuthorMCDOUGAL, JAMES NELSON, III.
KeywordsMorphine -- Physiological effect.
Rats -- Physiology.
Body temperature -- Effect of drugs on.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThermoregulatory, analgesic and respiratory depressive responses as well as tolerance to morphine were investigated in young (3 to 5 months), mature (10 to 12 month) and senescent (26 to 28 month) male Fischer 344 rats. The thermoregulatory system of senescent rats was not able to maintain body temperature in hot and cold environments as well as the thermoregulatory system of young rats. Additionally, senescent rats had basal rectal temperatures which were approximately one degree lower than basal temperatures in young rats. Subcutaneous morphine caused biphasic effects on body temperature ie. hyperthermia at low doses and hypothermia at high doses. Senescent rats were less responsive to the hypothermic effects of subcutaneous morphine than young rats, but this was not due to decreased subcutaneous blood flow or inability to lose heat. Morphine injections intracerebroventricularly showed no age-related differences. A two site model for the actions of morphine on thermoregulation was proposed and it was suggested that the age-related differences are due to changes in a non periventricular site. Previously reported increased lethality of intravenous morphine in aged rodents was shown to be due to decreased respiratory reserve rather than increased sensitivity to respiratory depression. Senescent rats were also found to acquire tolerance to the thermic effects of morphine less readily than young rats regardless of the route of administration. Normal aging has been characterized as a decrease in adaptability, and it was suggested that senescent rats were less able to compensate for the thermic effects of morphine as well as young rats. In order to determine the mechanisms of decreased adaptability, neurotransmitters proposed to be involved in thermoregulation were injected intracerebroventricularly in morphine tolerant rats. The results suggested a shift from catecholaminergic to cholinergic transmitters with aging.
Degree ProgramPharmacology & Toxicology