Single and Repeated Ultra–Rapid Detoxification Prevents Cognitive Impairment in Morphine Addicted Rats: A Privilege for Single Detoxification

Leila Ghamati, Vahid Hajali, Vahid Sheibani, Khadije Esmaeilpour, Gholamreza Sepehri, Mojtaba Shojaee


Background: Opioids have been shown to affect learning and memory processes. Different protocols of morphine withdrawal can substantially vary in their success to prevent opioid induced impairments of cognitive performance. In the present study, we report the effects of single and repetitive ultra-rapid detoxification (URD) on spatial learning and memory in morphine addicted rats.

Methods: Morphine (10 mg/kg) was intraperitoneally (IP) injected in male rats once a day over one week and after which they were detoxified with naloxone administration under anesthesia. For the repetitive procedure, a second one week morphine treatment with a second subsequent detoxification was performed. Control groups received an equivalent volume of saline injections. Spatial learning and memory was evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM) task.

Findings: Both protocols of morphine administration resulted in a severe spatial memory impairment that could be significantly prevented by both single and repetitive URD. However, memory abilities in animals treated with repetitive URD were still significantly lower than in animals of the corresponding control group. Alterations in motor activity or sensory-motor coordination between morphine treated and control animals could be ruled out by comparing swimming speed and visible platform performances that were not different between groups. Thus, URD and, specifically single URD, can prevent the spatial memory impairments in addicted rats.

Conclusion: As opioid addiction is an extending and serious concern in many societies, these findings may have clinical values and therapeutic implications for patients who experience multiple opioid relapses.


Opioids, Addiction, Detoxification, Spatial memory, Morris water maze (MWM)

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