Intrathecal injection of subanalgesic doses of morphine (7.5 nmol) and dynorphin-A-(1-13) (1.25 nmol) in combination resulted in a marked analgesic effect as assessed by tail flick latency in the rat. The analgesic effect of the composite dynorphin/morphine was dose-dependent in serial dilutions so that a composition of 1/8 of the analgesic dose of dynorphin and 1/3 that of morphine produced an analgesic effect equipotent to full dose of either drug applied separately. The analgesic effect induced by dynorphin/morphine mixture was not accompanied by motor dysfunction and was easily reversed by a small dose (0.5 mg/kg) of naloxone. Contrary to the augmentatory effect of dynorphin on morphine analgesia in the spinal cord, intracerevroventricular (ICV) injection of 20 nmol of dynorphin-A-(1-13) exhibited a marked antagonistic effect on the analgesia produced by morphine (120 nmol, ICV). The theoretical considerations and practical implications of the differential interactions between dynorphin-A-(1-13) and morphine in the brain versus spinal cord are discussed.