Common pain-killers like Morphine have both pair-relieving as well as tolerance and addictive effects. Opiates, it had been theorized earlier, were able to relieve pain via a mechanism that involved the neurotransmitter Serotonin. For the first time , this has been decisively proved to be so, by examining the effects of pain-killer on mice that were engineered to have the serotonin producing gene, Lxmb, silenced in the 5-HT neurons. As such these mice completely lacked serotonin in their brains.

It was found that these mice exhibited more sensitivity to pain and also morphine, or other opiates, were not able to relive the pain in these mice. On the other hand the addictive effects of morphine remained intact.

I am tempted to conjecture further. Is it the case that psychological and physical pain share the same neural substrates? Remember that low levels of serotonin cause depression, in which the sensitivity to psychological pain is elevated. this is similar to the fact that the sensitivity for physical pain is heightened in mice lacking serotonin.I am further tempted to stick my neck out and recommend that the experiment be perormed with mice that have dopamine producing neurons silenced in the brain. If such mice can survive to adulthood, would they exhibit the analgesic effects of morphine, but not its addictive effects? anyway this dissociation between analgesic and addictive effects of morphine would have serious pharmacological effects.

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