Reports

Inhibition of morphine tolerance and dependence by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801

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Science  04 Jan 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4989, pp. 85-87
DOI: 10.1126/science.1824728

Abstract

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of the glutamate receptor is an important mediator of several forms of neural and behavioral plasticity. The present studies examined whether NMDA receptors might be involved in the development of opiate tolerance and dependence, two examples of behavioral plasticity. The noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 attenuated the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect of morphine without affecting acute morphine analgesia. In addition, MK-801 attenuated the development of morphine dependence as assessed by naloxone-precipitated withdrawal. These results suggest that NMDA receptors may be important in the development of opiate tolerance and dependence.