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Opioid peptides may modulate afferent synaptic transmission in the frog semicircular canal

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With the aid of external perfusion techniques we tested the action of a synthetic analog of leu-enkephalin dalargin (DAL) and the specific opiate antagonist naloxone (NAL) at the afferent synapses of the semicircular canals in the frog. DAL at concentrations of 0.1- 100 nM depresses the resting discharge frequency. NAL (1-100 μM) antagonizes responses induced by DAL, which suggests a specific DAL action. DAL inhibits the excitatory action of L-glutamate (L-GLU). The data obtained speak in favor of the presence of opiate receptors and that the neurotransmitter L-GLU is involved in opiate action at the peripheral vestibular system of the frog. The results appear to demonstrate that opioid peptides may act as neuromodulators in this system.


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