The endogenous neuropeptide cholecystokinin, when administered systemically or perispinally, potently antagonizes opiate analgesia produced by foot shock and morphine. Nonopiate foot-shock analgesia is not reduced by this neuropeptide. The spinal cord appears to be a critical site of cholecystokinin action. These experiments suggest a physiological role for cholecystokinin as a specific opiate antagonist in analgesia-mediating systems. A similar mode of action may explain other behavioral effects of cholecystokinin, such as suppression of food intake.
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