Capel, I.D., Pinnock, M.H., Withey, N.J., Williams, D.C. and Patterson, M.A. The effect of electrostimulation on barbituate-induced sleeping times in rats. Drug Development Research, 2:73-79, 1982.

This study was conducted to determine the biochemical basis by which CES might induce drug detoxification. The time taken to regain righting reflex following barbiturate anesthesia (sleeping time) was investigated as a means to provide an in vivo estimate of hepatic function. Naloxone was administered prior to CES to determine whether the effects on barbiturate anesthesia was mediated by endorphins. Female rats were anesthetized by intraperitoneal administration of either hexobarbitol (100 mg/kg), thiopentone (56 mg/kg), or quinalbarbitone/amylobarbitone (25 mg/kg). Electrodes were attached to the rats ear via alligator clips to Michaels suture clips inserted through each pinna. Treated animals were stimulated until they regained their righting reflex with 1 volt at a 0.22 mS pulse width. A control group of rats were sham treated via the same connections without the CES device being turned on.

CES treated rats regained their righting reflex more rapidly than sham-treated controls following administration of anesthetics. The most effective frequencies in decreasing hexobarbital-induced sleeping time was 10 Hz (P<.001) or 500 Hz (P<.001). The treatment produced no significant difference in microsomal protein or cytochrome P450 levels. Paradoxically, two mixed function oxitase enzyme activities investigated, aminopyrine Ndemethylase and aniline hydroxylase, were significantly lower (P<.001) in the CES treated rats than in the sham treated littermates.

Pretreatment with naloxone increased the hexobarbital-induced sleeping times of the non-CES rats. CES at 10 Hz was far less effective in reducing sleeping time following pretreatment with naloxone, whereas the reduction of sleeping time was greatly enhanced (P<.001) at 500 Hz.

Rats receiving CES at 10 Hz had significantly lower (P<.002) and those treated at 500 Hz had significantly higher (P<.025) serum cortisol levels than the sham treated controls.