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Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Dec 3;205(3):247-52.

Contribution of supraspinal mu- and delta-opioid receptors to antinociception in the rat.

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School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


This study evaluated the contribution of supraspinal opioid receptors to the production of antinociception, in the rat. I.c.v. administration of a selective mu- (DAMGO) and a selective delta- (DPDPE), but not a selective kappa- (U50,488H) opioid receptor agonist, produced significant dose-dependent increase in mechanical nociceptive thresholds. ICI 174,864, a delta-opioid receptor antagonist, completely blocked the antinociceptive effects produced by DPDPE ([D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin) at a dose that had no effect on the increases in nociceptive thresholds produced by DAMGO ([D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin). The simultaneous i.c.v. administration of a low-antinociceptive dose of DAMGO or DPDPE given in combination with sequentially increasing doses of the other opioid agonist, produced synergy (i.e., a more than additive antinociceptive effect), at the lower doses tested. The results of these experiments provide evidence to support the suggestion that both supraspinal mu- and delta-opioid receptors contribute to the production of antinociception, in the rat.

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