, Volume 182, Issue 4, pp 588–596

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
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-005-0138-9

Cite this article as:
Jutkiewicz, E.M., Rice, K.C., Traynor, J.R. et al. Psychopharmacology (2005) 182: 588. doi:10.1007/s00213-005-0138-9



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.


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.


Slowing the rate of SNC80 administration minimized delta agonist-induced convulsions without altering the effects of SNC80 in the forced swim test.


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.


Delta-opioid receptorAntidepressantsConvulsionsForced swim testRatsSNC80Infusion rate

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily M. Jutkiewicz
    • 1
  • Kenner C. Rice
    • 2
  • John R. Traynor
    • 1
  • James H. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.NIHBethesdaUSA