Neither acute nor prolonged exposure to morphine altered cAMP content or spontaneous movements of longitudinal muscle-myenteric plexus strips of the guinea-pig ileum. By contrast, exogenous acetylcholine or electrical stimulation of the strips elicited both a decrease of cAMP concentration and a twitch response. Atropine blocked the effects of stimulation on these parameters. Addition of morphine to electrically stimulated strips inhibited the twitch response but did not affect cAMP levels. Incubation with morphine led to the development of tolerance to the inhibitory effect on twitch activity and prevented the fall in cAMP normally elicited by electrical stimulation. These results suggest that muscarinic activation is associated with a reduction of cAMP content, an effect which would be impaired in opiate-tolerant tissues.

This content is only available as a PDF.