Naloxone injections into the periaqueductal grey area and arcuate nucleus block analgesia in defeated mice

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1985;87(1):39-42. doi: 10.1007/BF00431775.


In a situation of social conflict, mice that are defeated by an opponent exhibit a marked analgesia. Microinjections of naloxone (1 or 10 micrograms) into the periaqueductal grey area (PAG) or into the region of the arcuate nucleus prior to the defeat prevented the emergence of analgesia. Microinjections of morphine (5 micrograms) into these sites had previously been shown to produce profound analgesia. Mice whose adrenals were removed rapidly developed analgesia when attacked by a stimulus animal. Injection of naloxone into PAG also antagonized defeat-induced analgesia in adrenalectomized mice. These observations indicate that sites and processes in the brain rather than in the periphery are responsible for the development of analgesia in mice that are subjected to social defeat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia*
  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / drug effects*
  • Endorphins / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Naloxone / pharmacology*
  • Periaqueductal Gray / drug effects*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • beta-Endorphin


  • Endorphins
  • Naloxone
  • beta-Endorphin
  • Morphine