Neurons in the frontal cortex of the rat carry multiple opiate receptors

J. T. Williams, W. Zieglgänsberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Acute desensitization to the inhibitory action of iontophoretically applied opiate alkaloids and opioid peptides was used to investigate the possibility of multiple opiate receptors located on single neurons in the frontal cortex of rats. Such short term exposure resulted in adaptive processes which were similar to tolerance to and dependence on opiate agonists occurring after chronic treatment. Neurons desensitized to methionine-enkephalin (ME) or D-Ala2, D-Leu5-enkephalin (DADL) became subsensitive to morphine, whereas cells desensitized to morphine remain sensitive to the inhibitory action of the opioid peptides. This lack of cross-desensitization may suggest the existence of multiple opiate receptors on the same cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 7 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • acute desensitization
  • frontal cortex
  • multiple opiate receptors
  • single units

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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