•Research in the Gewirtz laboratory has shown that one of the brain structures involved in mediating withdrawal from opiate drugs such as morphine is the ventral tegmental area(VTA). Morphine causes the VTA to release dopamine and excite downstream targets,which maybe related to the onset of withdrawal.
•In addition,increased levels of noradrenaline are also present during opiate withdrawal.3,4
•We aim to test whether both the dopaminergic and adrenergic systems engage to produce WPS when morphine is supplied to the VTA. Thus,we administer propranolol, an adrenergic receptor antagonist,to determine whether noradrenaline is recruited by the VTA during withdrawal. Apomorphine ,a dopamine agonist, is given to determine the actions of dopamine during withdrawal
Dopamine, but not noradrenaline, contributes to opiate withdrawal-induced anxiety in the VTA.
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