Prague Med. Rep. 2016, 117, 185-197

Can Anxiety Tested in the Elevated Plus-maze Be Related to Nociception Sensitivity in Adult Male Rats?

Marie Pometlová, Anna Yamamotová, Kateryna Nohejlová, Romana Šlamberová

Department of Normal, Pathological and Clinical Physiology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Received October 19, 2016
Accepted November 21, 2016

Methamphetamine (MA) is one of the most addictive psychostimulant drugs with a high potential for abuse. Our previous studies demonstrated that MA administered to pregnant rats increases pain sensitivity and anxiety in their adult offspring and makes them more sensitive to acute administration of the same drug in adulthood. Because individuals can differ considerably in terms of behaviour and physiology, such as rats that do not belong in some characteristics (e.g. anxiety) to average, can be described as low-responders or high-responders, are then more or less sensitive to pain. Therefore, prenatally MA-exposed adult male rats treated in adulthood with a single dose of MA (1 mg/ml/kg) or saline (1 ml/kg) were tested in the present study. We examined the effect of acute MA treatment on: (1) the anxiety in the Elevated plus-maze (EPM) test and memory in EPM re-test; (2) nociception sensitivity in the Plantar test; (3) the correlation between the anxiety, memory and the nociception. Our results demonstrate that: (1) MA has an anxiogenic effect on animals prenatally exposed to the same drug in the EPM; (2) all the differences induced by acute MA treatment disappeared within the time of 48 hours; (3) there was no effect of MA on nociception per se, but MA induced higher anxiety in individuals less sensitive to pain than in animals more sensitive to pain. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates unique data showing association between anxiety and nociceptive sensitivity of prenatally MA-exposed rats that is induced by acute drug administration.


This study was supported by grant # 14-03708S from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, projects # PRVOUK P34, GAUK 706216 and 260277/SVV/2016 from Charles University, and project # NT/14484 from the Internal Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.


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