Male rodents displayed greater magnitudes of analgesia following systemic, ventricular, and intracerebral administration of μ-opioid receptor agonists than female rodents. Whereas neonatal castration of male rat pups produced reductions in systemic and central morphine analgesia as adults, neonatal androgenization of female rat pups treated with testosterone propionate (TP) displayed enhancements in systemic and central morphine analgesia as adults. Adult gonadectomy minimally affected μ-opioid analgesia, except if less potent μ agonists were employed, or if morphine was directly administered into the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). Adult ovariectomy failed to appreciably alter the enhanced analgesia following systemic morphine in female rats with neonatal androgenization. Because the vlPAG elicited morphine analgesia that was sensitive to both neonatal and adult gonadal hormone manipulations, the present study examined morphine analgesia elicited from the vlPAG in female rats receiving neonatal treatment with TP or vehicle and subsequently exposed to adult ovariectomy or sham surgery as well as intact male rats. Intact male rats displayed significantly greater magnitudes and potencies in vlPAG morphine analgesia than female rats receiving neonatal treatment with either vehicle or TP. In turn, neonatal androgenization significantly enhanced vlPAG morphine analgesia relative to neonatal vehicle treatment in females. Adult ovariectomy significantly enhanced the magnitude of vlPAG morphine analgesia in female rats receiving neonatal treatment with either vehicle or TP. This demonstrates a strong interaction between neonatal and adult gonadal hormone manipulations in the mediation of vlPAG morphine analgesia in female rats.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by PSC/CUNY Grants 65285 and 66325 to R.J. Bodnar; G. Cataldo is a CUNY Graduate Science Fellow. Address correspondence to R.J. Bodnar, Department of Psychology and Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub-Program, Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, NY, USA. E-mail: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tail-flick latencies
- Testosterone propionate