Opioids decrease high-voltage activated calcium currents in acutely dissociated neostriatal neurons

A. Stefani, D. J. Surmeier, G. Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the distribution of opioid receptors is central to the patch-matrix model of neostriatal organization, it has been unclear whether these receptors are located post-synaptically. Moreover, it has not yet been clarified whether opioid receptor activation in neostriatum results in the modulation of calcium and/or potassium conductances. To test this, neostriatal neurons were acutely isolated and their sensitivity to opioid receptor agonists determined. At nanomolar. At nanomolar concentrations, both the μ-agonist [d-Ala2, MePhe4, Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO) and the δ-agonist [d-Pen2, d-Pen5]-enkephalin (DPEPE) reversibly decreased whole-cell calcium currents in medium-sized neurons. These effects were blocked by the opiate antagonist naloxone. These findings argue that activation of post-synaptic, opioid receptors is capable of modulating the excitability of neostriatal neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 1994


  • Basal ganglia
  • High-voltage activated (HVA) current
  • Opioid peptide
  • Whole-cell patch clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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