Separation of the convulsions and antidepressant-like effects produced by the delta-opioid agonist SNC80 in rats

Emily M. Jutkiewicz, Kenner C. Rice, John R. Traynor, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Rationale: Delta-opioid agonists produce a number of behavioral effects, including convulsions, antinociception, locomotor stimulation, and antidepressant-like effects. The development of these compounds as treatments for depression is limited by their convulsive effects. Therefore, determining how to separate the convulsive and antidepressant-like characteristics of these compounds is essential for their potential clinical use. Objective: The present study tests the hypothesis that the rate of delta-opioid agonist administration greatly contributes to the convulsive properties, but not the antidepressant-like effects, of delta-opioid agonists. Materials and methods: The delta-opioid agonist SNC80 (1, 3.2, and 10 mg kg-1 or vehicle) was administered to Sprague-Dawley rats by intravenous infusion over different durations of time (20 s, 20, or 60 min). Convulsions were measured by observation prior to determining antidepressant-like effects in the forced swim test. Results: Slowing the rate of SNC80 administration minimized delta agonist-induced convulsions without altering the effects of SNC80 in the forced swim test. Conclusions: These data suggest that delta agonist-induced antidepressant properties are independent of convulsive effects, and that it may be possible to eliminate the convulsions produced by delta agonists, further promoting their potential clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-596
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Convulsions
  • Delta-opioid receptor
  • Forced swim test
  • Infusion rate
  • Rats
  • SNC80

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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