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Narges Hoseinmardi, Leila Azimi, Mohammad Javan, Naser Naghdi, Yaghoub Fathollahi,
Volume 13, Issue 2 (Summer 2009)

Abstract* Introduction: Chronic morphine exposure can cause addiction and affect synaptic plasticity, but the underlying neural mechanisms of this phenomenon remain unknown. Herein we used electrophysiologic approaches in hippocampal CA1 area to examine the effect of chronic morphine administration on short-term plasticity. Methods: Experiments were carried out on hippocampal slices taken from either control animals or animals made dependent via oral chronic morphine administration. Population spikes (PSs) were recorded from stratum pyramidale of CA1 following stimulation the Schaffer collateral afferents. For examining the short-term synaptic plasticity, paired pulse stimulations with inter pulse interval (IPI) of 10, 20, 80, and 200 ms were applied and paired pulse index (PPI) was calculated. Results: Chronic morphine exposure had no effect on the baseline response. A significant increase in PPI was observed in dependent slices at 80 ms IPI as compared to the control ones. There was no significant difference in baseline response between control and dependent slices when we used long term morphine, naloxone, and both. However, long term morphine administration caused significant difference in PPI at IPI of 20 ms. This effect was eliminated in the presence of naloxone. Conclusion: These findings suggest that morphine dependence could affect short-term plasticity in hippocampal CA1 area and increase the hippocampus network excitability. Keywords: Addiction, CA1 neural networks, short-term synaptic plasticity.

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