Brain noradrenergic systems as a prerequisite for developing tolerance to barbiturates

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Science  28 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4340, pp. 449-451
DOI: 10.1126/science.565533


Mice treated with 6-hydroxydopamine before they were chronically fed phenobarbital did not develop functional barbiturate tolerance, measured by duration of the loss of righting reflex and hypothermia. Injection of 6-hydroxydopamine caused significant depletion of brain norepinephrine, while brain dopamine levels were not significantly depleted. Intact brain noradrenergic systems seem to be necessary for developing tolerance to the hypnotic and hypothermic effects of the barbiturates.