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Neuroreport. 1994 Aug 15;5(13):1673-8.

Plasticity in spinal opioid control of lower urinary tract function in paraplegic cats.

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Division of CNS Research, Lilly Research Laboratories, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, IN 46285.


Spinal cord injury disrupts micturition reflexes, which produces morbidity. The contribution of endogenous opioid systems to urinary retention were assessed in chronic spinal cats by administering the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone (5-500 micrograms kg-1, i.p.), to unanesthetized paraplegic cats while monitoring lower urinary tract function and observing hind limb reflexes. While naloxone had no overt effect in acute spinal cats, in chronic spinal cats naloxone induced the release of large volumes of urine and produced marked hind limb hyper-reflexia. Prominent tachyphylaxis and tolerance to the effects of naloxone were evident. Immunohistochemical studies indicated a marked increase in leucine enkephalin and dynorphin in sacral spinal neurons. Together, these data indicate hyperactivity of the endogenous spinal opioid system following recovery from spinal cord injury and, furthermore, suggest that the spinal neural circuitry may become 'dependent' upon elevated levels of endogenous opioid peptides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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