(1/1567) Discriminative stimulus effects of naltrexone after a single dose of morphine in the rat.

The discriminative stimulus effects of an acute morphine (MOR) --> naltrexone (NTX) combination were characterized and compared with the stimulus effects of NTX-precipitated and spontaneous withdrawal from chronic MOR administration. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 6-8) were trained to discriminate between two drug treatments in a discrete-trial avoidance/escape procedure: MOR (10 mg./kg, s.c., 4 h) --> NTX (0.3 mg/kg, s.c., 0.25 h) versus saline (SAL, 1 ml/kg, s. c., 4 h) --> NTX (0.3 mg/kg, s.c., 0.25 h). Subjects responded only on the SAL --> NTX-appropriate lever when SAL was given 3.75 h after MOR or 3.75 h before any dose of NTX (0.3-100 mg/kg). Responding was dose dependent and MOR --> NTX-appropriate when NTX (0.01-0.1 mg/kg) followed MOR. Full MOR --> NTX-appropriate responding was dependent on the pretreatment dose and time of MOR, with full effects observed only when MOR (10 mg/kg) was given 3 to 4 h before NTX. While subjects were maintained on either 20- or 40 mg/kg/day of MOR via osmotic pump, NTX produced full dose-dependent, MOR --> NTX-appropriate responding. When the MOR-filled pumps were removed, partial MOR --> NTX-appropriate responding occurred, peaking at 6 to 12 h. The physical withdrawal signs produced by NTX after acute or during chronic MOR exposure were of smaller magnitude compared with the ones that occurred during abrupt withdrawal from chronic MOR. A qualitatively unique "withdrawal" stimulus that is dose- and time-dependent appears to be the basis of this MOR --> NTX discrimination.  (+info)

(2/1567) Presynaptic inhibition of GABA(B)-mediated synaptic potentials in the ventral tegmental area during morphine withdrawal.

Opioids increase the firing of dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area by presynaptic inhibition of GABA release. This report describes an acute presynaptic inhibition of GABAB-mediated IPSPs by mu- and kappa-opioid receptors and the effects of withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment on the release of GABA at this synapse. In slices taken from morphine-treated guinea pigs after washing out the morphine (withdrawn slices), a low concentration of a mu receptor agonist increased, rather than decreased, the amplitude of the GABAB IPSP. In withdrawn slices, after blocking A1-adenosine receptors with 8-cyclopentyl-1, 3-dipropylxantine, mu-opioid receptor activation inhibited the IPSP at all concentrations and increased the maximal inhibition. In addition, during withdrawal, there was a tonic increase in adenosine tone that was further increased by forskolin or D1-dopamine receptor activation, suggesting that metabolism of cAMP was the source of adenosine. The results indicate that during acute morphine withdrawal, there was an upregulation of the basal level of an opioid-sensitive adenylyl cyclase. Inhibition of this basal activity by opioids had two effects. First, a decrease in the formation of cAMP that decreased adenosine tone. This effect predominated at low mu receptor occupancy and increased the amplitude of the IPSP. Higher agonist concentrations inhibited transmitter release by both kinase-dependent and -independent pathways. This study indicates that the consequences of the morphine-induced upregulation of the cAMP cascade on synaptic transmission are dependent on the makeup of receptors and second messenger pathways present on any given terminal.  (+info)

(3/1567) Effects and interactions of opioids on plasma exudation induced by cigarette smoke in guinea pig bronchi.

The effects of opioids on cigarette smoke-induced plasma exudation were investigated in vivo in the main bronchi of anesthetized guinea pigs, with Evans blue dye as a plasma marker. Acute inhalation of cigarette smoke increased plasma exudation by 216% above air control values. Morphine, 0.1-10 mg/kg but not 30 mg/kg, inhibited the exudation but had no significant effect on substance P-induced exudation. Both 10 and 30 mg/kg of morphine increased exudation in air control animals, an effect inhibited by antihistamines but not by a tachykinin neurokinin type 1-receptor antagonist. Naloxone inhibited all morphine responses. Cigarette smoke-induced plasma exudation was inhibited by a mu-opioid-receptor agonist (DAMGO) but not by agonists at delta (DPDPE)- or kappa (U-50488H)-receptors. None of these agonists affected exudation in air control animals. DPDPE prevented the inhibition by DAMGO of cigarette smoke-induced plasma exudation, and the combination of DAMGO and DPDPE increased exudation in air control animals. Prevention of inhibition and the combination-induced increase were inhibited by antihistamines or the mast cell-stabilizing drug sodium cromoglycate. U-50488H did not alter the response to either DAMGO or DPDPE. We conclude that, in guinea pig main bronchi in vivo, mu-opioid-receptor agonists inhibit cigarette smoke-induced plasma exudation via a prejunctional mechanism. Plasma exudation induced by mu- and delta-receptor interactions is due to endogenous histamine release from mast cells.  (+info)

(4/1567) Morphine preconditioning attenuates neutrophil activation in rat models of myocardial infarction.

Previous results from our laboratory have suggested that morphine can attenuate neutrophil activation in patients with acute myocardial infarction. To elucidate if morphine preconditioning (PC) has the same effects via activation of neutrophil endopeptidase 24.11 (NEP), we measured serum levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), gp100MEL14 and NEP in adult Wistar rats subjected to ten different protocols (n = 10 for each) at baseline, immediately after and 2 h after morphine PC. All groups were subjected to 30 min of occlusion and 2 h of reperfusion. Similarly, morphine-induced PC was elicited by 3-min drug infusions (100 micrograms/kg) interspersed with 5-min drug-free periods before the prolonged 30-min occlusion. Infarct size (IS), as a percentage of the area at risk (AAR), was determined by triphenyltetrazolium staining. Pretreatment with morphine increased NEP activities (9.86 +/- 1.98 vs. 5.12 +/- 1.10 nmol/mg protein in control group; p < 0.001). Naloxone (mu-opioid receptor antagonist) (4.82 +/- 1.02 nmol/mg protein) and phosphoramidon (NEP inhibitor) (4.66 +/- 1.00 nmol/mg protein) inhibited morphine-activated NEP, whereas glibenclamide (ATP-sensitive potassium channel antagonist) and chelerythrine (protein kinase C inhibitor) had no effects. The ICAM-1 and gp100MEL14 of the third sampling were lowest for those with morphine PC (280 +/- 30 ng/ml and 2.2 +/- 0.7 micrograms/ml; p < 0.001), but naloxone (372 +/- 38 ng/ml and 3.8 +/- 0.9 micrograms/ml) and phosphoramidon (382 +/- 40 ng/ml and 4.2 +/- 1.1 micrograms/ml) abolished the above phenomenon. IS/AAR were definitely lowest for those with morphine PC (24 +/- 7%; p < 0.05). Morphine preconditioning increases NEP activities to attenuate shedding of gp100MEL14 and to ICAM-1 and, thus, provides myocardial protection.  (+info)

(5/1567) Safer sex strategies for women: the hierarchical model in methadone treatment clinics.

Women clients of a methadone maintenance treatment clinic were targeted for an intervention aimed to reduce unsafe sex. The hierarchical model was the basis of the single intervention session, tested among 63 volunteers. This model requires the educator to discuss and demonstrate a full range of barriers that women might use for protection, ranking these in the order of their known efficacy. The model stresses that no one should go without protection. Two objections, both untested, have been voiced against the model. One is that, because of its complexity, women will have difficulty comprehending the message. The second is that, by demonstrating alternative strategies to the male condom, the educator is offering women a way out from persisting with the male condom, so that instead they will use an easier, but less effective, method of protection. The present research aimed at testing both objections in a high-risk and disadvantaged group of women. By comparing before and after performance on a knowledge test, it was established that, at least among these women, the complex message was well understood. By comparing baseline and follow-up reports of barriers used by sexually active women before and after intervention, a reduction in reports of unsafe sexual encounters was demonstrated. The reduction could be attributed directly to adoption of the female condom. Although some women who had used male condoms previously adopted the female condom, most of those who did so had not used the male condom previously. Since neither theoretical objection to the hierarchical model is sustained in this population, fresh weight is given to emphasizing choice of barriers, especially to women who are at high risk and relatively disempowered. As experience with the female condom grows and its unfamiliarity decreases, it would seem appropriate to encourage women who do not succeed with the male condom to try to use the female condom, over which they have more control.  (+info)

(6/1567) Methadone treatment by general practitioners in Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, a three-tiered program exists to deal with drug use and addiction. General practitioners form the backbone of the system, helping to deal with the majority of addicts, who are not criminals and many of whom desire to be free of addiction. Distinctions are made between drugs with "acceptable" and "unacceptable" risks, and between drug use and drug-related crime; patients who fall into the former categories are treated in a nonconfrontational, nonstigmatizing manner; such a system helps prevent the majority of patients from passing into unacceptable, criminalized categories. The overall program has demonstrated harm reduction both for patients and for the city of Amsterdam.  (+info)

(7/1567) Recent developments in maintenance prescribing and monitoring in the United Kingdom.

After a brief historical review of British drug legislation and public and governmental attitudes, this paper describes the wide range of policies and practices that have appeared since the explosion of illicit drug abuse in the 1960s. The spectrum goes from a reluctance to prescribe at all to maintenance on injectable opiates. Comparisons are made with differing attitudes to the availability of abortion in public health services. Compared with 5 years ago, about three times more methadone is being prescribed. There is a steady increase in prescriptions for injectable methadone but heroin maintenance is still rare. The "British System" permits great flexibility in the choice of opiates for maintenance. Some amphetamine-prescribing programmes also exist. Hair analysis for drugs to monitor levels of both prescribed and unprescribed drugs is a welcome and promising alternative to undignified and often misleading urine tests.  (+info)

(8/1567) Harm reduction in Bern: from outreach to heroin maintenance.

In Switzerland, harm-reduction programs have the support of the national government and many localities, in congruence with much of the rest of Europe and in contrast with the United States, and take place in public settings. The threat of AIDS is recognized as the greater harm. This paper describes the overall national program and highlights the experience from one city; the program is noteworthy because it is aimed at gathering comparative data from controlled trials.  (+info)