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Spinal opioid analgesia in the rat 

Spinal opioid analgesia in the rat
Spinal opioid analgesia in the rat

Craig W. Stevens

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date: 21 October 2021

It is hard to imagine a time when the world of science and medicine did not know that morphine or other opioids administered to the spinal cord produced analgesia. However, this was the current state of knowledge in the early 1970s before the studies of Yaksh and Rudy created one of the most important paradigm shifts in the treatment of pain. The landmark paper is a pharmacology paper describing the results of the first comprehensive study of spinal opioid analgesia in the rat. The study produced the first full dose-response curves for morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and meperidine and proved a spinal site of opioid action. Classic pharmacological analysis yielded a competitive interaction at a single site, the as-yet undiscovered opioid receptors. Most importantly, with this paper, Yaksh and colleagues began a lifetime of cutting-edge research that would reveals the complex nature of pain processing and numerous classes of analgesic agents.

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