The present study examined the potential for cross-tolerance development between mu-opioid and gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonists, in hypothalamic arcuate neurons, resulting from chronic morphine treatment. Intracellular recordings were made in hypothalamic slices prepared from ovariectomized female guinea pigs. The mu-opioid receptor agonist D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin and the gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonist baclofen produced dose-dependent membrane hyperpolarizations of arcuate neurons. The reversal potential for both agonist-induced hyperpolarizations was near -95 mV, indicative of the activation of an underlying K+ conductance. Coadministration of maximally effective concentrations of D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin and baclofen produced a response that was not additive, indicating a convergence onto a common K+ channel. In arcuate neurons, including a subset that was immunopositive for tyrosine hydroxylase, chronic morphine treatment for 4 to 7 days produced a 3.2-fold reduction in the potency, with no change in the efficacy, of D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin. In contrast, it affected neither the potency nor the efficacy of baclofen. Therefore, chronic morphine exposure does not produce cross-tolerance between mu-opioid and gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonists in A12 dopamine neurons, suggesting that convergence upon a common effector is not a sufficient criterion for the development of cross-tolerance between receptor systems.