Opioid and nonopioid mechanisms of stress analgesia

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Science  09 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4444, pp. 623-625
DOI: 10.1126/science.7367889


Inescapable foot shock in rats caused profound analgesia that was antagonized by naloxone or dexamethasone when shock was delivered intermittently for 30 minutes, but not when it was delivered continuously for 3 minutes. Thus, depending only on its temporal characteristics, foot-shock stress appears to activate opioid or nonopioid analgesia mechanisms. Certain forms of stress may act as natural inputs to an endogenous opiate analgesia system.