Black cohosh is a commonly used botanical dietary supplement for the treatment of climacteric complaints. Because the opiate system in the brain is intimately associated with mood, temperature, and sex hormonal levels, the activity of black cohosh extracts at the human mu opiate receptor (hMOR) expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells was investigated. The 100% methanol, 75% ethanol, and 40% 2-propanol extracts of black cohosh effectively displaced the specific binding of [3H]DAMGO to hMOR.
Pain has sensory-discriminative and emotional-affective dimensions. Recent studies show that the affective component can be assessed with a conditioned place avoidance (CPA) test. We hypothesized that systemic morphine before a post-conditioning test would more potently attenuate the affective aspect compared to the sensory component and that [d-Ala2-N-Me-Phe4, Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO), a μ-selective opioid receptor agonist, injected into the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) would reduce established CPA.