Subrata Basu Ray
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 26 Issue 5 December 2001 pp 555-559 Commentary
Volume 29 Issue 1 March 2004 pp 51-56
Though morphine remains the most powerful drug for treating pain, its effectiveness is limited by the development of tolerance and dependence. The mechanism underlying development of tolerance to morphine is still poorly understood. One of the factors could be an alteration in the number of Μ-receptors within specific parts of the nervous system. However, reports on changes in the Μ-opioid receptor density in the spinal cord after chronic morphine administration are conflicting. Most of the studies have used subcutaneously implanted morphine pellets to produce tolerance. However, it does not simulate clinical conditions, where it is more common to administer morphine at intervals, either by injections or orally. In the present study, rats were made tolerant to morphine by injecting increasing doses of morphine (10-50 mg/kg, subcutaneously) for five days.
Volume 30 Issue 4 September 2005 pp 491-497
Calcium plays an important role in the pathophysiology of pain. A number of studies have investigated the effect of L-type calcium channel blockers on the analgesic response of morphine. However, the results are conflicting. In the present study, the antinociceptive effect of morphine (2–5 Μg) and nimodipine (1 Μg) co-administered intraspinally in mice was observed using the tail flick test. It was compared to the analgesic effect of these drugs (morphine — 250 Μg subcutaneously; nimodipine — 100 Μg intraperitoneally) after systemic administration. Nimodipine is highly lipophilic and readily crosses the blood brain barrier. Addition of nimodipine to morphine potentiated the analgesic response of the latter when administered through the intraspinal route but not when administered through systemic route. It may be due to direct inhibitory effect of morphine and nimodipine on neurons of superficial laminae of the spinal cord after binding to Μ-opioid receptors and L-type calcium channels respectively.