Morphine withdrawal in mice selectively bred for differential sensitivity to ethanol.
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Mice which have been selectively bred for differences in sensitivity to acute doses of alcohol have also been shown to differ in severity of seizures upon withdrawal from chronic alcohol administration. We investigated the responsiveness of these mice to withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment. Mice were made dependent on morphine via pellet implantation, and withdrawal was precipitated with naloxone challenge. Mice which are less sensitive to the hypnotic effects of ethanol (short sleep: SS) displayed more jumping and wet dog shakes during withdrawal than did the more sensitive long sleep (LS) mice. In addition, the amount of jumping was dependent on the dose of naloxone in both lines. Differences between lines in naloxone precipitated withdrawal may reflect differences in alterations in extrapyramidal dopaminergic activity, but other substrates for the observed differences cannot be discounted. Finally, the observed difference between SS and LS mice in severity of morphine withdrawal parallels the previously reported difference between these lines in seizure severity during withdrawal from alcohol.