The effect of selective opioid receptor agonists and antagonists on epileptiform activity in morphine-dependent infant mice hippocampal slices

Int J Dev Neurosci. 2017 Aug;60:56-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 25.


Hippocampal slices of mouse brain were used to estimate how selective agonist and antagonist of opioid receptors alter Low-Mg+2 artificial cerebrospinal fluid (LM-ACSF)-induced epileptiform activities in normal and morphine-dependent mice. Brain slices were obtained from control and morphine-dependent mice. The morphine-dependent group received morphine once a day for 5 consecutive days, and the control group received saline. All injections were administered subcutaneously (s.c) in a volume of 0.1mL on postnatal days 14-18. Brain slices were perfused with LM-ACSF along with selective agonist and antagonist of μ, κ and δ opioid receptors. Changes in spike count per unit of time were used as indices to quantify the effects of LM-ACSF exposure in the slices. In both groups, DAMGO (selective μ opioid receptor agonist) and DPDPE (selective δ opioid receptor agonist) suppressed while Dyn-A (selective κ opioid receptor agonist) potentiated the epileptiform activity. Meanwhile, BFN-A (selective μ opioid receptor antagonist) recovered epileptiform activity in normal brain slices but not in morphine-dependent ones. NTI (selective δ opioid receptor antagonist) and nor-BNI (selective κ opioid receptor antagonist) decreased epileptiform activity. It seems that the excitatory effect of morphine on epileptiform activity was mediated through kappa receptors and its inhibitory effect was mediated via the mu receptor and, to a lesser degree, through the delta receptor. The pattern of effect was similar in normal and morphine-dependent slices, but the intensity of the effect was significantly stronger in normal mice. Finding of this study might be considered for further research and attention in epilepsy treatment.

Keywords: Acute; Chronic; Developing brain; Hippocampal slices; Morphine; Seizure.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Morphine Dependence / complications*
  • Morphine Dependence / drug therapy*
  • Morphine Dependence / physiopathology*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Receptors, Opioid / agonists*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Opioid