, Volume 118, Issue 4, pp 444–450 | Cite as

Kappa opioid agonists produce anxiolytic-like behavior on the elevated plus-maze

  • T. H. Privette
  • D. M. Terrian
Original Investigation


The selectivek agonist U-50,488H was evaluated on the elevated plus-maze test of anxiety. U-50,488H was administered intraperitoneally to male Sprague-Dawley rats 20 min before testing, first in an open field apparatus, then followed immediately on the elevated plus-maze. No significant change in spontaneous locomotor activity was measured in the open field apparatus, suggesting that U-50,488H was devoid of sedative effects in the dose range tested (0.1–1000 µg/kg, IP). Doses between 10 and 1000 µg/kg produced significant increases in elevated plus-maze behavior that were consistent with anxiolytic actions for U-50,488H. These anxiolytic-like effects were antagonized by naloxone (2.0 mg/kg, IP), suggesting an opioid receptor site of action. In addition, we tested thek1-selective U-50,488H-derivative, U-69,593 (100 µg/kg, IP), which was also shown to mimic the anxiolytic-like effects produced by U-50,488H. These results suggest that low doses of the selectivek1 agonists U-50,488H and U-69,593 are endowed with anxiolytic properties in rodents and that thek opioid system may be involved in the behavioral response to anxiety.

Key words

Opioids Stress Anxiety Rat Benzeneacetamides H-50,488H U-69,593 Naloxone Open field Spontaneous locomotor activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. H. Privette
    • 1
  • D. M. Terrian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyEast Carolina University School of MedicineGreenvilleUSA

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