Morphine has latent deleterious effects on the ventilatory responses to a hypoxic challenge*


The aim of this study was to determine whether morphine depresses the ventilatory responses elicited by a hypoxic challenge (10% O2, 90% N2) in conscious rats at a time when the effects of morphine on arterial blood gas (ABG) chemistry, Alveolar-arterial (A-a) gradient and minute ventilation (Vm) had completely subsided. In vehicle-treated rats, each episode of hypoxia stimulated ventilatory function and the responses generally subsided during each normoxic period. Morphine (5 mg/kg, i.v.) induced an array of depressant effects on ABG chemistry, A-a gradient and Vm (via decreases in tidal volume). Despite resolution of these morphine-induced effects, the first episode of hypoxia elicited substantially smaller increases in Vm than in vehicle-treated rats, due mainly to smaller increases in frequency of breathing. The pattern of ventilatory responses during subsequent episodes of hypoxia and normoxia changed substantially in morphine-treated rats. It is evident that morphine haslatent deleterious effects on ventilatory responses elicited by hypoxic challenge.

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J. May, W. , B. Gruber, R. , F. Discala, J. , Puskovic, V. , Henderson Jr., F. , A. Palmer, L. and J. Lewis, S. (2013) Morphine has latent deleterious effects on the ventilatory responses to a hypoxic challenge*. Open Journal of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 3, 166-180. doi: 10.4236/ojmip.2013.34022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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