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Opiate receptors and sleep 2. effects of micro injections of ethyl alcohol and pento barbital in the median thalamus peri aqueductal gray matter and nucleus of the tractus solitarius of the rabbit



Opiate receptors and sleep 2. effects of micro injections of ethyl alcohol and pento barbital in the median thalamus peri aqueductal gray matter and nucleus of the tractus solitarius of the rabbit



Neuropsychobiology 7(2): 74-86



There is an analogy between sleep EEG produced by microinjections of morphine in the bulbo-mesencephalo-thalamic recruiting system and EEG seen during anesthetic-induced sleep. Many studies in the last 10 yr have claimed cross-tolerance and cross-dependence between opiates and ethyl alcohol. Opiates, ethyl alcohol and pentobarbital have many common metabolic actions in the CNS. Like morphine, microinjections of optimal equimolar doses of ethyl alcohol and pentobarbital in the bulbo-mesencephalo-thalamic sleep-inducing system of the rabbit produce sleep EEG with abundant fast activity, which is blocked by naloxone (2 mg/kg i.v.) or by microinjections (160 .mu.g) into the same structures. There is neither binding nor displacement by naloxone of ethyl alcohol or pentobarbital from the opiate receptor. Apparently, ethyl alcohol and pentobarbital promote the release of endorphins or peptides, which are specific ligands of all or some opiate receptors.

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