Variables of movement amplitude and frequency in the development of motion sickness in Suncus murinus

Javid FA, Naylor RJ

The School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford, UK.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of different frequency and amplitude of horizontal movements to induce motion sickness and to identify gender differences and adaptation to motion stimulus in adult Suncus murinus. Each animal was subjected to a horizontal motion stimulus of 3, 7, 13, or 40 mm amplitude at a frequency of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 Hz. The number of vomiting episodes and the latency of onset were recorded over a 10-min period. For the study of adaptation, different groups of males were exposed to repeated motion sickness (using 0.5 or 1 Hz frequency and the amplitude of 40 mm) either every 2 days for a period of 30 days, or once every week for a period of 28 days. In all animals the number of emetic episodes obtained at 1 and 2 Hz were significantly higher by 40-80% than those at 0.5 and 3 Hz using either 13 or 40 mm amplitude of movements; this was followed by shorter latency of emesis. Age-matched females were shown to be more responsive to the emetic stimuli than males as the number of emetic episodes at 1, 2, and 3 Hz (amplitude of 40 mm) were significantly higher by 33%, 42%, and 75%, respectively, than in males; this also was followed by a shorter latency of emetic response. In the study of adaptation, when used once every 2 days, by the second challenge (at 0.5 Hz) the number of emetic episodes was reduced by 62%, and to subsequent challenges emesis was absent or greatly reduced. Also, a reduction in responsiveness was observed at 1 Hz, which attained a maximum effect by the third challenge. The present results indicated that Suncus murinus is sensitive to horizontal motion stimulus, the emetic episodes were significantly greater at 1 and 2 Hz than at either a lower or higher frequency, a repeated challenge once every 2 days but not weekly reduced the number of emetic episodes, and in all experiments, age-matched female animals were more responsive than males to motion stimulus and in some experiments this achieved significance.