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Neurosci Lett. 1990 Jul 31;115(2-3):137-43.

Perinatal opiate treatment delays growth of cortical dendrites.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu 96822.


Basilar dendritic arborizations of layer II-III pyramidal neurons in primary somatosensory cortex of 5-day-old male rats were reconstructed following perinatal morphine, morphine/naltrexone, or saline vehicle administration. Morphine treatment was observed to reduce total dendritic length. This effect was limited to higher order dendritic branches, with terminal dendrites manifesting the greatest reduction of length. The action of morphine was presumably mediated by opiate receptors, since concurrent naltrexone administration completely reversed morphine effects on dendritic length and branching. These results suggest that opiates act during late ontogenesis to affect dendritic growth in cerebral cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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