A new study published in the Iran Journal of Basic Medical Science, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found that cannabinoids may prevent the negative effects of morphine on magnocellular neurons. Magnocellular neurons are neuroendocrine cells (cells that receive neuronal input) located in the hypothalamus (a portion of the brain), and are among the largest cells in the brain.
“Opioids and cannabinoids are two important compounds that have been shown to influence the activity of magnocellular neurons (MCNs) of supraoptic nucleus (SON)”, state’s the study’s objective statement. “The interaction between opioidergic and cannabinoidergic systems in various structures of the brain and spinal cord is now well established, but not in the MCNs of SON.”
In this study, “whole cell patch clamp recording of neurons in rat brain slice was used to investigate the effect of acute morphine and cannabinoid administration on spontaneous inhibitory and excitatory spostsynaptic currents (sIPSCs and sEPSCs) in MCNs.”
After conducting the study, researchers found that; “Taken together, these data indicated that at the cellular level, pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoids [such as what’s done through the consumption of cannabinoid-based medicines] could attenuate morphine effects on MCNs.”
The full study, conducted by researchers at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science and the Artesh University of Medical Science, both in Iran, can be found by clicking here.