Accession Number:



Dexmedetomidine Intoxication in Rats

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,19 Oct 2016,20 Jul 2017

Corporate Author:

US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

Report Date:


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This report provides preliminary information on overt toxicity observed following intraperitoneal injection of dexmedetomidine in rats. The dexmedetomidine doses 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mgkg were selected based upon their presumed ability to produce a robust response but not lethality. All doses produced immobilization within 5 minutes, and long-lasting intoxication was observed by reduced overnight food consumption and weight change. Behavioral performance, as indexed by the acquisition of a two-way discriminated active shuttle avoidance response 24 hours after dexmedetomidine injection, revealed no substantial differences from the control group, suggesting complete to near complete functional recovery by this time. These data and their conclusions are limited by the small number of subjects, limited ranges of doses, and inclusion of only one exposure route. Nevertheless, this study provides important preliminary information on the rapid onset and prolonged duration of intoxication that can be achieved by dexmedetomidine in a rat model. Utilizing this same animal model, more prompt and comprehensive operant behavioral testing following dexmedetomidine exposure appears warranted. Such an approach will further elaborate the time course and degree of toxicity and establish the foundation for behavioral studies of countermeasure efficacy.

Subject Categories:

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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