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Gen Pharmacol. 1996 Oct;27(7):1187-94.

Central effects of opioid agonists and naloxone on blood pressure and heart rate in normotensive and hypertensive rats.

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Department of Physiology, Shanghai Medical University, People's Republic of China.


1. The central cardiovascular effects of several opioid receptor selective agonists and the nonselective opioid antagonist, naloxone, were studied in anesthetized normotensive control rats, in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), and in foot-shock-stressed rats. 2. Receptor-selective agonists injected into the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and dorsal hippocampus (dHip) were DAGO (mu), DADLE (delta), and U50,488H (kappa). 3. DAGO and DADLE (3 nM) decreased arterial pressure and heart rate in RVLM and PVN of all rat strains, while U-50,488H (9 nM) had only minimal effects in these areas. 4. In dHip, only DADLE (3 nM) had depressor and bradycardic effects, and then, only in SHR, with DAGO and U50,488H being ineffective in any strain, even at 9 nM. 5. Prior injection of naloxone (10 nM) into the RVLM, PVN and dHip blocked and postinjection reversed the cardiovascular effects of the agonists. Naloxone alone increased blood pressure and heart rate in all three areas, in all rat strains except SHR, suggesting a tonic depressor effect of endogenous opioids. 6. Lack of significant quantitative differences in opioid agonist and antagonist effects between normotensive and hypertensive or stressed rats argues against a role for endogenous brain opioids in experimental hypertension.

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