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Regulation of c-fos expression by acute and chronic morphine administration in rat brain



Regulation of c-fos expression by acute and chronic morphine administration in rat brain



Neuroscience Research Communications 12(3): 133-140



Effects of acute and chronic morphine administration on the expression of immediate early gene c-fos in different regions of the rat brain was studied by Northern-blot hybridization. It was found that acute treatment of rats with morphine (10 mg/kg) produced on average a 2-fold increase in the levels of c-fos mRNA in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum as compared to saline injected animals. A maximal peak of c-fos mRNA induction was observed within 15-30 minutes after morphine injection. No increase of c-fos mRNA was detected in the hypothalamus, striatum, midbrain and brain steam where levels of c-fos induction after acute morphine administration were not substantially different from c-fos expression caused by injection of saline. Chronic treatment of rats with morphine for 9 days abolished the ability of subsequent morphine administration to induce c-fos expression in the cerebral cortex. It is hypothesized that the observed regulation of c-fos mRNA levels by morphine represents a part of the long-term changes underlying the development of opiate addiction.

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