Suppression by ketamine and dextromethorphan of precipitated abstinence syndrome in rats

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Apr;35(4):829-32. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(90)90366-p.


The development of physical dependence on opiates appears to involve an inhibition by opiates of L-asparaginase and glutaminase, and the blockade by opiates of aspartatergic (ASPergic)/glutamatergic (GLUergic) receptors. Ketamine (K) (0.5 or 1 mg/kg) or dextromethorphan (DM) (1 or 2 mg/kg), both of which are known to decrease the responsiveness of ASPergic/GLUergic receptors, were administered to the three morphine (M)-containing pellets implanted rats prior to 2 mg/kg naloxone (NL) injection. Whereas 0.5 mg/kg K showed no significant effect on abstinence syndrome signs, 1 mg/kg K and 1 mg/kg DM significantly attenuated some of the signs. The attenuation or prevention of all the signs were observed after 2 mg/kg DM administration. Almost complete prevention was seen from the second minute on during the ten-minute observation period. As ASP and GLU antagonists K and DM have this antagonizing effect on the precipitated abstinence syndrome signs, the manifestation of abstinence syndrome may mainly result from the normalization of ASP and GLU production because of the disinhibition by NL of the enzymes and the stronger stimulation of ASPergic/GLUergic receptors which have no opiate blockade after NL injection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dextromethorphan / therapeutic use*
  • Ketamine / therapeutic use*
  • Levorphanol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Male
  • Morphine / adverse effects*
  • Naloxone / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control*


  • Levorphanol
  • Naloxone
  • Ketamine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Morphine