Effect of naloxone on food competition aggression in food-restricted high and low aggression pigeons (Columba livia)

C. Fachinelli, M. Torrecillas, E.L. Rodríguez Echandía
2004 Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research  
We determined the effect of the opiate receptor antagonist naloxone on aggression, emotion, feeder control, and eating behavior in high and low aggression female pigeons maintained at 80% of their normal weight and exposed to food competition interactions. Pigeons were divided into pairs by previously ranked high aggression (total time spent in offensive aggression exceeding 60 s/5 min; N = 6 pairs) and low aggression females (time spent in offensive aggression less than 10 s/5 min; N = 6
more » ... /5 min; N = 6 pairs). A pigeon in each pair received an sc dose of naloxone (1 mg kg -1 ml saline -1 ) and the other animal received the vehicle. Trials (10 min) were performed 30 min after the naloxone/ vehicle administration. The naloxone group of high aggression pigeons showed lower scores of total time spent in offensive aggression (control: 98.6 ± 12.0; naloxone: 46.8 ± 6.6 s; P < 0.05) and higher scores of time spent in emotional responses (control: 3.5 ± 0.6; naloxone: 10.8 ± 2.4 s; P < 0.05) than controls. The other behaviors scored, feeder control and eating behavior, were not affected in this group. The naloxone group of low aggression pigeons, however, showed higher scores of offensive aggression than their controls (5.3 ± 1.3; naloxone: 28.7 ± 8.0 s; P < 0.05). The present results suggest that opiate receptor mechanisms are implicated in offensive aggression responses in high and low aggression pigeons. However, as reported for brain 5-hydroxytryptamine manipulation and GABA-A-benzodiazepine receptor manipulation, the effect of the opiate receptor antagonist on food competition aggression in pigeons was related to their pretreatment level of aggression. Correspondence
doi:10.1590/s0100-879x2004000300010 pmid:15060702 fatcat:kvhrkjyd65aktbpjtaos3nrkoe