Morphine increases locus coeruleus noradrenergic neuronal activity in vitro

Michael E. Trulson, Kamyar Arasteh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morphine produced a dose-dependent increase in the activity of norepinephrine-containing locus coeruleus neurons recorded from mouse brain slices in vitro. The response was not changed in a low calcium-high magnesium incubation medium, indicating that the observed effects are the result of a direct action of morphine on locus coeruleus neurons. When the mice were anesthetized with chloral hydrate prior to preparation of tissue slices, morphine produced a dose-dependent suppression of noradrenergic neuronal activity. These studies suggest that previous data showing a decrease in activity of locus coeruleus neurons following incubation with morphine in vitro are due to the use of anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 13 1986


  • Anesthesia
  • In vitro
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Morphine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Single-unit activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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