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1- Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
2- Neurophysiology Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.
3- Neuroscience Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
4- Danesh Pey Hadi Co, Health and Technology Development Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran

Introduction: Ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a core region of brainstem that contributes in different vital bio-responses such as pain and addiction. The dopaminergic (DA) cellular content of the VTA revealed have major roles in different functions. The cellular effect of the tramadol on the putative VTA-DA neurons evaluated in this study.
Methods: Wistar rats classified into three control, sham, and tramadol-treated groups. Animals anesthetized and VTA-DA neuronal activity acquisitioned under controlled stereotaxic surgery. The firing rate of the neurons extracted according principle component analysis by Igor pro software and analysed statistically with p<0.05. Tramadol (20 mg/kg) infused intraperitoneally.
Results: Overall, 121 putative VTA-DA neurons isolated in all groups. In tramadol-treated rats, inhibition of the neuronal firing as tolerance and constitutive excitation period as dependence or withdrawal observed. The inhibition lasted up to 50.34±10.17 minutes and 31% of neurons abolished firing and silenced for 24±3 min but the remaining lowered their firing up to 43% to 67% of their baseline firing. All neurons showed the excitation period that lasted about 56.12±15.30 min and the firing of neurons raised up their firing from 176% up to 244% of their baseline or pre-injection period.
Conclusion: The tolerance and dependence effects of tramadol relate to the change of neuronal firing rate at the putative VTA-DA neurons. The acute injection of tramadol can initiate neuroadaptation on the opioid and non-opioid neurotransmission to mediate these effects.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2017/07/13 | Accepted: 2018/04/30 | Published: 2018/05/13

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