Effects of buprenorphine on a cecal ligation and puncture model in C57BL/6 mice

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2012 May;51(3):357-65.


Sepsis research relies heavily on animal models. One of the most frequently used models, cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), involves surgery, and animal use committees may require the use of analgesics after CLP. However, some analgesics are immunomodulatory and may affect research outcomes. In addition, both septic inflammation and responses to opioids may vary with the sex of the subject. Therefore, we investigated the effects of buprenorphine in inbred mice of both sexes undergoing CLP. We hypothesized that buprenorphine would not significantly change the outcome or patterns of inflammation in C57BL/6 mice after CLP. Male and female C57BL/6 mice underwent CLP surgery and were randomized into 2 groups to receive either buprenorphine or saline. Three-week survival studies were performed (n = 20 per group). Survival did not differ between groups of female mice, but male mice that received buprenorphine had decreased survival compared with that of controls. Reducing the dose of buprenorphine in male mice ameliorated the difference in survival. To examine inflammation, mice (n = 10 per group) were euthanized at 12, 24, or 48 h after CLP. Cell counts and cytokines were measured in the blood and peritoneal lavage fluid. In female and male C57BL/6 mice, buprenorphine treatment resulted in few differences in inflammatory parameters, although peripheral neutrophil counts were decreased transiently in male mice. The findings suggest that the effects of buprenorphine on sepsis models in C57BL/6 mice may be sex-specific. Consequently the use of analgesics must be assessed on a study-by-study basis, and investigators should define analgesic regimens when publishing sepsis studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage*
  • Cecum / injuries
  • Cecum / surgery*
  • Cell Count
  • Coinfection / blood
  • Coinfection / immunology
  • Coinfection / microbiology
  • Coinfection / mortality
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peritoneal Lavage
  • Punctures
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / immunology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Sepsis / mortality*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Cytokines
  • Buprenorphine