Antinociceptive effect of morphine on rat spinothalamic tract and other dorsal horn neurons

J. L.K. Hylden, George L Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The importace of the spinothalamic tract in pain transmission makes it an attractive candidate for study with respect to the effects of antinociceptive compounds. We have been interested in the analgesic actions of opioids and noradrenergic agents at the spinal level and have investigated the effects of these agents on extracellularly recorded nociceptive dorsal horn neurons in the rat. Spinothalamic tract cells were identified by antidromic activation from the somatosensory thalamus. Morphine was administered by bathing the spinal cord in an artificial cerebrospinal fluid solution which contained a known concentration of drug. We observed a dose-related inhibition, naloxone-reversible in some cases, of activity produced by spinally administered morphine in identified rat spinothalamic tract cells and dorsal horn nociceptive neurons. Morphine had no effect on stimulus-evoked responses of low threshold dorsal horn neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1986


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