Perinatal opiate treatment delays growth of cortical dendrites

Arleen A. Ricalde, Ronald P. Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Basilar dendritic arborizations of layer II-III pyramidal neurons in primary somatosensory cortex of 5-day-old male rats were reconstructed following perinatal morphine, morphine/naltrexone, or saline vehicle administration. Morphine treatment was observed to reduce total dendritic length. This effect was limited to higher order dendritic branches, with terminal dendrites manifesting the greatest reduction of length. The action of morphine was presumably mediated by opiate receptors, since concurrent naltrexone administration completely reversed morphine effects on dendritic length and branching. These results suggest that opiates act during late ontogenesis to affect dendritic growth in cerebral cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 31 1990


  • Dendrite
  • Development
  • Morphine
  • Opiate receptor
  • Somatosensory cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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