Selective breeding for high and low levels of opiate-induced analgesia in mice

J. K. Belknap, N. R. Haltli, D. M. Goebel, M. Lamé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Beginning with a genetically heterogeneous outbred stock of mice (Binghamton HET), selective breeding was conducted within two selected lines for a high analgesic (antinociceptive) response and a low analgesic response, respectively, to a narcotic analgesic (levorphanol tartrate) using the hot-plate test. A nonselected control line was also maintained concurrently. Four generations of predominantly mass selection have produced a marked divergence between the two oppositely selected lines, yielding a realized heritability (h2) of 0.32±0.05. The selection response was markedly asymmetrical, with a realized h2 in the high direction of 0.45±0.10 and in the low direction of 0.12±0.07. These animals represent potentially useful subject material for research concerning the mechanisms and correlates of opiate-induced analgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • analgesia
  • antinociception
  • hot plate test
  • levorphanol
  • mice
  • morphine
  • selection
  • selective breeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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