Electrodes were implanted in mesencephalic, pontine, and bulbar reticularformation, and in spinal trigeminal nucleus and tract of rats. Central and peripheral aversive response thresholds were studied under normal conditions and with morphine. Peripherally elicited aversive reactions were assessed with tail-flick, hot-plate, and footshock responses. Centrally elicited aversive reaction thresholds were in all cases based on unconditioned behavioral distress signs (non-stereotyped, escape-like movements, vocalization, freezing, excretion, etc.) and confirmed in some cases with avoidance learning. Morphine (10 mg/kg) elevated the unconditioned aversive reaction threshold for brain stimulation in the trigeminal complex and for peripheral aversive stimulation, but failed to affect the thresholds for reticular brain stimulation. The failure to affect reticular thresholds was independent of stimulation frequency. Thresholds for 5 and 200 Hz sinusoidal stimulation were both unaffected as were previously reported thresholds with 333 Hz pulsatile stimulation. Trigeminal nucleus and tract stimulation were affected in similar degrees. The data were discussed as supporting descending inhibitory models of opiate analgesia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine