, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 155–163 | Cite as

Effects of pentazocine and other opiates on shock detection in the rat: Involvement of opiate and dopamine receptors

  • Linda L. Hernández
  • James B. Appel
Original Investigations


The hypothesis that the antinociceptive effects of pentazocine, a mixed agonist-antagonist opiate of the benzomorphan class, are mediated by a dual opiate-dopaminergic mechanism was tested using a two-choice procedure in which rats were required to discriminate the presence or absence of shock. The results showed that pentazocine decreased shock sensitivity and speed of responding, effects that were qualitatively similar to those of morphine. However, while the antinociceptive effect of both pentazocine and morphine could be antagonized by opiate receptor blockade, that of pentazocine, but not of morphine, could also be antagonized by dopamine receptor blockade. Observations with levorphanol and phenazocine suggested further that dopamine, as well as opiate receptor agonism may be characteristic of the benzomorphans.

Key words

Pentazocine Morphine Levorphanol Phenazocine Opiates Opiate receptors Dopamine (DA) receptors Antinociception Analgesia Discrimination Rats 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda L. Hernández
    • 1
  • James B. Appel
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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