The role of alpha1-adrenergic transmission was tested on locomotor effects of acute or repeated morphine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) administration. Prazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic antagonist, administered 30 min before morphine, either systemically (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) or locally and bilaterally into the prefrontal cortex (200 pmol/side) reduced the stimulatory influence of morphine on locomotion. The progressive increase of the locomotor response induced by repeated morphine injections was blocked by a prazosin pretreatment but not the behavioral sensitization on the test day. These data suggest that blockade of cortical alpha1-adrenergic receptors reduces the expression of acute and sensitized locomotor responses to morphine, but does not prevent the induction of behavioral sensitization.