College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Further Studies of the Effects of Intranigral Morphine on Behavioral Responses to Noxious Stimuli

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-13-1990

Keywords

Substantia Nigra, Morphine, Nociception, Naloxone, Analgesia

Publication Title

Brain Research

ISSN

0006-8993

Volume

525

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

Bilateral intranigral microinjection of morphine produces dose-related and naloxone reversible analgesic-like effects on the hot-plate and tail-flick tests. The main objectives of the present studies were to further characterize the analgesic-like effects of intranigral morphine, to determine whether these effects were related to a general impairment of sensory or motor function, and to assess their anatomical specificity. The principal findings are: (1) intranigral morphine (10 μg) suppresses pain-related behavior without altering responses to a variety of non-noxious auditory, visual, and somatic stimuli, and without producing motor impairment; (2) movement of injector needles approximately 1 mm rostral, dorsal, or medial to the active nigral site significantly reduces the analgesic-like effect of morphine on the tail-flick test; and (3) electrolytic lesions confined to the nigra significantly reduced the analgesic-like effect of morphine on the hot-plate test. It is concluded that the analgesic-like effects of intranigral morphine are mediated by the substantia nigra and that these effects are specifically related to pain.

DOI

10.1016/0006-8993(90)91326-C