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Effects of superfusion of morphine and enkephalins on the activity of single units in the spinal trigeminal nucleus and cuneate nucleus of cat.

Abstract

The effects of superfusion of morphine, met-enkephalin and D-ala2-met5-enkephalinamide on the spontaneous neural discharge rates of units in the spinal trigeminal nucleus and cuneate nucleus of decerebrate cats were studied. The drugs were superfused onto the dorsum of the exposed surface of the caudal medulla overlying these nuclei. Some of these neurons were identified by their response to innocuous mechanical stimuli delivered to the skin. In the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus, morphine caused a dose-dependent suppression of the spontaneous discharge rate in the majority of the neurons studied. Endogenous opiate peptide, met-enkephalin or its synthetic analogue, D-ala2-met5-enkephalinamide caused an initial reduction, followed by a rebound of the discharge rate to the control value. These depressant effects of morphine and enkephalins were antagonized by concomitant superfusion of the opiate antagonist naloxone. In the main cuneate nucleus, however, similar doses of morphine, met-enkephalin and D-ala2-met5-enkephalinamide have little if any significant effect on the spontaneous activity of the neurons studied. These results provide electrophysiological evidence for the presence of opiate receptors in the caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus and the relative lack of such receptors in the main cuneate nucleus.

PMID:
3736280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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