The dorsal raphe nucleus: A re-evaluation of its proposed role in opiate analgesia systems

D. S. Klatt, M. J. Guinan, E. S. Culhane, Earl Carstens, L. R. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Previous studies have concluded that (a) electrical stimulation in the periaqueductal gray/dorsal raphe nucleus (PAG/DRN) region specifically produces either non-opiate or opiate forms of antinociception dependent upon the dorsoventral level of stimulation and (b) the 'opiate' form of stimulation-produced analgesia (SPA) arising from the ventral PAG/DRN region shows cross-tolerance with opiate forms of footshock analgesia, implying common neural substrates. This latter conclusion in turn implies that SPA elicited from the ventral PAG/DRN region would be expected to be antagonized by scopolamine, since this muscarinic cholinergic antagonist blocks opiate footshock analgesia. The present study demonstrates instead that neither 10 mg/kg naloxone nor 10 mg/kg scopolamine had any effect on SPA elicited from sites histologically verified to lie within the presumptive 'opiate' ventral PAG/DRN region. These data bring into question both the site specificity of opiate SPA and the common mediation of ventral PAG/DRN SPA and opiate forms of footshock analgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 3 1988


  • Acetylcholine
  • Analgesia
  • Behavior
  • Dorsal raphe nucleus
  • Opiate
  • Pain
  • Periaqueductal gray
  • Stimulation produced analgesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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