The effects exerted by P1 and P2 as well as by A1 and A2 agonists and antagonists purinoceptor on the acute opiate withdrawal induced by morphine were investigated in vitro. Following a 4 min in vitro exposure to morphine, the guinea-pig isolated ileum exhibited a strong contracture after the addition of naloxone. The P1 purinoceptor agonist, adenosine, was able dose-dependently to reduce morphine withdrawal whereas α,β- methylene ATP (APCPP), a P2 purinoceptor agonist, increased morphine withdrawal. Caffeine, a P1 purinoceptor antagonist, was able significantly and in a concentration dependent manner to increase morphine withdrawal whereas quinidine, a P2 receptor antagonist, reduced it. Also, the adenosine A1 receptor agonist, N6-Cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) was able to reduce dose-dependently naloxoneprecipitaded withdrawal whereas the selective adenosine A2A receptor agonist CGS 21680 increased the naloxoneprecipitated withdrawal phenomenon. Dipyridamole, a blocker of adenosine reuptake, induced a significant reduction of morphine dependence. Caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, significantly increased the naloxone-precipitated withdrawal effect in a concentration dependent manner. The same effect was observed with 8-phenyltheophylline (8PT), an A1 adenosine receptor antagonist, whereas 3,7-dimethyl-1-propargylxanthine (DMPX), an A2 adenosine receptor antagonist, reduced the naloxone-precipitated withdrawal phenomenon. The results of our experiments indicate that P1 and P2 as well as A1 and A2 purinoceptor agonists and antagonists are able to influence opiate withdrawal in vitro, suggesting an important functional interaction between the purinergic system and opioid withdrawal.