The hyperpolarizing effect of morphine on locus coeruleus (LC) neurons, recorded with standard intracellular electrodes, was blocked in brain slices from rats pretreated with pertussis toxin, an inactivator of certain G proteins. In the same slices, when electrodes contained the hydrolysis-resistant GTP analog GTPγS, the ability of morphine to rapidly hyperpolarize LC neurons was restored and responses were similar in magnitude to those in control slices. We conclude that there is sufficient residual coupling between opiate receptors and G proteins after pertussis toxin treatment to allow the agonist to be effective when the hydrolysis-resistant GTP analog GTPγS is present. © 1987.
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