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Effects of opioid microinjections in the nucleus of the solitary tract on the sleep-wakefulness cycle states in cats



Effects of opioid microinjections in the nucleus of the solitary tract on the sleep-wakefulness cycle states in cats



Anesthesiology 82(1): 144-152



Background: Previous studies have shown that the region of the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) is involved in the control of electrocortical activity and in sleep mechanisms. It also is well known that this region contains the highest concentration of opioid receptors within the medullary brainstem. The involvement of the NST opioid system in sleepwakefulness states was evaluated. Methods: Ten cats were implanted with electrodes for chronic polygraphic recordings of their sleep-wakefulness states and provided with an implanted guide cannula stereotaxically aimed at the NST region. Microinjections of saline, morphine sulfate, morphiceptin (specific mu agonist), D-pen-2D-pen-5-enkephalin (delta agonist), and U-50488H (kappa agonist) were given to the freely moving animals (doses 0.8-2.4 times 10-9 M, in a volume of 0.05 mu-l of saline). After microinjections, sleep-wakefulness recordings were obtained for 8 h. Results: Morphine microinjections in NST provoked a dose-dependent enhancement of all the polygraphic and behavioral manifestations of slow wave sleep. This effect was blocked by the prior intraperitoneal administration of naloxone. The mu and delta agonists also produced a hypnotic effect by enhancing slow wave sleep. By contrast, the kappa agonist caused no changes in sleep-wakefulness states. Conclusions: These results indicate that endogenous opioids could be involved in controlling electrocortical activity generated by NST and that activation of mu and delta NST opioid receptors enhanced the electroencephalographic synchronization associated with behavioral slow wave sleep in cats.

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Accession: 008555934

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7832296

DOI: 10.1097/00000542-199501000-00019


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