IV. Discriminative stimulus effects of narcotics: Evidence for multiple receptor-mediated actions

Seymore Herling, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Results of studies on the discriminative stimulus effects of narcotics are consistent with the hypothesis that multiple receptors mediate the effects of these compounds. In the rat, at least three subsets of discriminative effects exist, although some drugs appear to have effects that transcend more than one subset. The discriminative effects of morphine-like narcotics (μ agonists), for example, are often clearly distinguishable from the discriminative effects produced by κ agonists, such as ketazocine, and from those produced by phencyclidine-like agonists, such as SKF-10,047 and cyclazocine. Cyclazocine, however, has been reported to have discriminative effects in common with morphine (45) and fentanyl (17) and appears to have κ-like, in addition to phencyclidine-like, discriminative effects. The relative ability of pure narcotic antagonists to block the discriminative effects of these compounds also provides evidence for distinct pharmacologic actions of these drugs. In the rat, the discriminative effects of morphine are blocked by doses of naloxone that are considerably smaller than those that are needed to block the discriminative effects of cyclazocine (44). The discriminative effects of phencyclidine are not altered at all by naltrexone (63).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1584
Number of pages14
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 6 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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