PMID: 3011208May 7, 1986Paper

Morphine analgesia is potentiated in adult rats prenatally exposed to ethanol

Brain Research
L R NelsonJ C Liebeskind


Exposure to inescapable, intermittent footshock elicits an opioid-mediated stress-induced analgesia in rats. We have previously shown that this response is markedly potentiated in adult rats, prenatally exposed to ethanol. To further investigate our hypothesis that endogenous opioid pain-inhibitory systems are modified by prenatal ethanol exposure, we have measured the analgesic response to morphine, in vitro brain opiate receptor binding characteristics, and occupation of brain opiate receptors following systemic administration of morphine. Compared to controls, rats prenatally exposed to ethanol had significantly enhanced morphine analgesia. This enhancement, however, does not appear attributable to changes in number or affinity of mu or delta opiate receptors, or to altered occupation of receptors by morphine.


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