Involvement of locus coeruleus and noradrenergic neurotransmission in fentanyl-induced muscular rigidity in the rat

Ping Wing Lui, Tak Yu Lee, Samuel H.H. Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whereas muscular rigidity is a well-known side effect that is associated with high-dose fentanyl anesthesia, a paucity of information exists with regard to its underlying mechanism(s). We investigated in this study the possible engagement of locus coeruleus of the pons in this phenomenon, using male Sprague-Dawley rats anesthetized with ketamine. Under proper control of respiration, body temperature and endtidal CO2, intravenous administration of fentanyl (50 or 100 μg/kg) consistently promoted an increase in electromyographic activity recorded from the gastrocnemius and abdominal rectus muscles. Such an induced muscular rigidity by the narcotic agent was significantly antagonzied or even reduced by prior electrolytic lesions of the locus coeruleus or pretreatment with the α-adrenoceptor blocker, prazosin. Microinjection of fentanyl (2.5 μg/50 nl) directly into this pontine nucleus, on the other hand, elicited discernible electromyographic excitation. It is speculated that the induction of muscular rigidity by fentanyl may involve the coerulospinal noradrenergic fibers to the spinal motoneurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume96
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 02 01 1989
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fentanyl
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Muscular rigidity
  • Noradrenergic neurotransmission
  • Rat

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