Brain Activation by H1 Antihistamines Challenges Conventional View of Their Mechanism of Action in Motion Sickness: A Behavioral, c-Fos and Physiological Study in Suncus murinus (House Musk Shrew)
This paper is the first to describe aspects of the mechanics of retching in the insectivore Suncus murinus (house musk shrew) and in an animal of such a small size (approximately 50 g). In anaesthetised animals using the novel stimulus of mechanical stimulation of the upper gastrointestinal tract as the provocative stimulus the frequency of retching was found to be about 4 retches/s, a much higher frequency than in other species (dog, cat, ferret). These studies show that quantification of retching in Suncus cannot be undertaken using direct observation. The temporal pattern of the emetic response was characterised in conscious Suncus using motion (1 Hz, 5 min) and nicotine (20 mg/kg s.c.). The ultrapotent capsaicin analogue resiniferatoxin (100 micrograms/kg s.c.) was discovered to be highly emetic and comparative studies showed that nicotine and resiniferatoxin induced the most intense responses with episodes (retches and a vomit) occurring every 10-15 s. The retching response to mechanical stimulation in the anaesthetised Suncus was not blocked by a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (granisetron, 1-5 mg/kg s.c.), a tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonist (CP-99,994 20 mg/kg s.c. dihydrochloride salt (9+) -(2S,3S)-3-(2-methoxybenzylamino)-2-phenylpiperidine) or morphine (2 mg/kg s.c.) but was blocked by the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT 100 micrograms/kg s.c.). Suncus appears to be a suitable animal in which to study the pharmacology of the emetic response to mechanical stimulation of the gut. The results are discussed in the light of studies of the pharmacology of emesis in other species.