Effect of interaction between acute administration of morphine and cannabinoid compounds on spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents of magnocellular neurons of supraoptic nucleus

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Artesh University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Opioids and cannabinoids are two important compounds that have been shown to influence the activity of magnocellular neurons (MCNs) of supraoptic nucleus (SON). The interaction between opioidergic and cannabinoidergic systems in various structures of the brain and spinal cord is now well established, but not in the MCNs of SON.
Materials and methods: In this study, whole cell patch clamp recording of neurons in rat brain slice was used to investigate the effect of acute morphine and cannabinoid administration on spontaneous inhibitory and excitatory spostsynaptic currents (sIPSCs and sEPSCs) in MCNs.
Results: Bath application of morphine produced an increase in sEPSCs frequency and a decrease in sIPSCs frequency. In contrast, bath application of URB597 (fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor) produced a decrease in sEPSCs frequency but an increase in sIPSCs frequency. WIN55212-2 (cannabinoid receptor agonist) decreased both sIPSCs and sEPSCs frequencies of MCNs. Co-application of morphine and URB597 attenuated the effect of morphine on MCNs.
Conclusion: Taken together, these data indicated that at the cellular level, pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoids could attenuate morphine effects on MCNs.


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