Naloxone modulates the behavioral effects of cholinergic agonists and antagonists

David L. Walker, Timothy McGlynn, Christine Grey, Michael Ragozzino, Paul E. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Peripheral glucose administration enhances memory in rodents and humans. Recent findings suggest that glucose may affect behavior, in part, by augmenting central cholinergic functions and by attenuating central opiate functions. The present experiments examined interactions between an opiate antagonist, naloxone, and cholinergic agents to determine whether the effects would parallel those found with glucose. Three behavioral measures were assessed: tremors, hyperactivity, and spontaneous alternation. Naloxone (1 mg/kg) significantly augmented tremors elicited by physostigmine (0.3 mg/kg). Naloxone (1 mg/kg) also attenuated increases in locomotor activity and impairments in spontaneous alternation performance elicited by scopolamine (1 and 3 mg/kg for activity and alternation measures, respectively). Thus, across three diverse measures, naloxone produced effects similar to those previously reported for glucose. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that release of cholinergic activity from opiate inhibition may contribute to glucose effects on behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine
  • Locomotor activity
  • Memory
  • Morphine
  • Naloxone
  • Opiates
  • Physostigmine
  • Scopolamine
  • Tremors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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