Systemic morphine blocks the seizures induced by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of opiates and opioid peptides

Gideon Urca*, Hanan Frenk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of the endorphins and of morphine in rats produce highly characteristic, naloxone sensitive, electrographic seizures. In contrast, systemic injections of morphine have been shown to exert a marked anticonvulsant effect. The present study demonstrates that systemic morphine pretreatment can prevent the occurrence of electrographic seizures induced by i.c.v. morphine, Leu-enkephalin and β-endorphin and that the anti-epileptic effect of morphine can be reversed by naloxone. Male albino rats, previously prepared for chronic i.c.v. injections and EEG recording, were pretreated with 0-100 mg/kg of intraperitoneal (i.p.) morphine. Thirty five minutes later morphine (520 nmol), Leu-enkephalin (80 nmol) or β-endorphin (5 nmol) were injected i.c.v. Pretreatment with i.p. morphine blocked the occurrence of seizures induced by morphine and both endogenous opioids. Lower doses of systemic morphine (50 mg/kg) were necessary to block i.c.v. morphine seizures than the dose (100 mg/kg) necessary to block seizures induced by i.c.v. Leu-enkephalin and β-endorphin. Naloxone (1 mg/kg) administered 25 min following 50 mg/kg of i.p. morphine and preceding the injections of i.c.v. morphine reversed the antiepileptic effect of systemic morphine. These results demonstrate the possible existence of two opiate sensitive systems, one with excitatory-epileptogenic effects and the other possessing inhibitory-antiepileptic properties. The possible relationship between these findings and the known heterogeneity of opiate receptors and opiate actions is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Aug 1982


FundersFunder number
Israel National Academy of Sciences
National Council for Forest Research and Development


    • anticonvulsant action
    • convulsant action
    • endogenous opioids
    • naloxone
    • opiates


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