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Open Access Lack of Absorption of a Sustained-release Buprenorphine Formulation Administered Subcutaneously to Athymic Nude Rats

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Female athymic nude rats (Rattus norvegicus; n = 45; age, 6 wk) were used in an IACUC-approved protocol to investigate mechanisms and potential treatments associated with brain, spine, and spinal cord metastases from triple negative breast cancer. The analgesic plan included the use of buprenorphine SR LAB (0.6 mg/kg; 0.11 mL/rat) subcutaneously and an oral NSAID delivered via the water. Thirty-seven rats reached the experimental end point at 3 mo after xenotransplantation and were euthanized for tissue harvest. Grossly, all 37 rats had nodules in the subcutis over the shoulders; these were identified as small, cystic structures (diameter, approximately 0.25 cm). The cysts and haired skin were submitted for LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) and histopathology. Histologically, the cysts were lined by fibrous connective tissue mildly infiltrated by macrophages, lymphocytes, and plasma cells. Adjacent blood vessels were rimmed by a mild infiltrate of lymphocytes and plasma cells. The cysts contained variable accumulations of a light pink, proteinaceous fluid. The cause for the cysts could not be determined histologically; there was no evidence of neoplasia. LC-MS/MS analysis revealed that the cysts contained buprenorphine. We hypothesize that the lack of T cells and a cell-mediated immune response in these rats prevented the dissolution of the vehicle and absorption of the buprenorphine. The manufacturer provides a cautionary statement regarding the use of this formulation in nude mice due to skin reactions, but to our knowledge, this report is the first description of an apparent lack of absorption of the drug in immunodeficient animals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Comparative Medicine, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida;, Email: [email protected] 2: Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida 3: Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 4: Department of Comparative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona

Publication date: September 1, 2019

This article was made available online on July 30, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Lack of Absorption of a Sustained-release Buprenorphine Formulation Administered Subcutaneously to Athymic Nude Rats".

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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