Morphine sensitization in the pentylenetetrazole-induced clonic seizure threshold in mice: Role of nitric oxide and μ receptors

Epilepsy and Behavior

Volume 4 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Behavioral sensitization occurs after repeated administration of ?-opioid receptor agonists following a drug-free period. It seems that the changes in dopaminergic systems induced by ?-opioid receptor agonists play a crucial role in behavioral sensitization to opioids. Nitric oxide also plays a role in some behavioral effects of morphine, including sensitization to the locomotor-stimulating effect. This study investigated whether morphine sensitization appears in seizure threshold and the possible role of ?-opioid receptor and nitric oxide in this sensitization. Sensitization was produced by daily injections of morphine (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 15, or 30. mg/kg), followed by a 10-day washout period. Then the challenge test was performed using morphine (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 15, or 30. mg/kg) in different groups. To assess clonic seizure threshold, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) was administered intravenously. Subcutaneous administration of morphine (0.1 and 0.5. mg/kg) induced sensitization in PTZ-induced clonic seizures in mice. Intraperitoneal administration of L-NAME (20. mg/kg), a nonselective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, or naltrexone (10. mg/kg), an opioid receptor antagonist, along with morphine inhibited morphine-induced sensitization in PTZ-induced seizure threshold. In conclusion, at low doses, morphine induces sensitization in PTZ-induced clonic seizures in mice probably as a result of the interaction with ?-receptors and nitric oxide. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.