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Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Jun 29;423(1):17-26.

Uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists potentiate morphine antinociception recorded from the tail but not from the hind paw in rats.

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Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 12 Smetna Street, 31-343, Kraków, Poland.


We investigated the effects of pretreatment with low-affinity, uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonists on morphine-induced antinociception in rats using the same intensity of thermal stimulus applied to the tail and the paws. Similar baseline responses to thermal stimuli of the same intensity were recorded from tails and hind paws. However, morphine produced equal antinociception from the tail and hind paw when used at doses of 2.5 and 6 mg/kg, respectively. These doses were used in further experiments. Thirty minutes before morphine, rats were administered the NMDA receptor antagonists dextromethorphan (2.5--30 mg/kg), memantine (2.5--15 mg/kg) and MRZ 2/579 (1-amino-1,3,3,5,5-pentamethyl-cyclohexane HCl) (1.25--10 mg/kg). All three compounds significantly and dose-dependently potentiated morphine-induced antinociception recorded from the tail. However, none of these NMDA receptor antagonists affected morphine antinociception recorded from the paw. These findings suggest that low-affinity NMDA receptor antagonists modulate differently morphine antinociceptive activity recorded from the tail and hind paws.

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