Mu Opioid Receptor (mu + opioid_receptor)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Ethanol-Induced Social Facilitation in Adolescent Rats: Role of Endogenous Activity at Mu Opioid Receptors

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 6 2009
Elena I. Varlinskaya
Background:, Ethanol consumption is considerably elevated during adolescence. Attractiveness of alcohol for humans during the adolescent developmental period is based, in part, on its ability to induce social facilitation,a facilitation of social interactions not only evident in human adolescents but also in adolescent rats. Endogenous opioid systems are among the multiple neural systems implicated in the behavioral and reinforcing effects of ethanol and may play a substantial role in modulating stimulatory effects of low doses of ethanol on social behavior during adolescence. This possibility was explored in the present study through the use of an animal model of peer-directed social behavior. Methods:, Sprague,Dawley rats were challenged early in adolescence with saline or ethanol intraperitoneally (i.p.), placed into an individual holding cage for 30 minutes, and then tested in a familiar situation with a nonmanipulated partner of the same age and sex. In Experiment 1, each test subject was injected subcutaneously with one of the three doses of a nonselective opioid antagonist naloxone (0, 0.05, and 0.1 mg/kg), 5 minutes prior to the social interaction test and 25 minutes following challenge with saline or ethanol (0.5 g/kg), whereas in Experiment 2 animals were challenged with one of the six doses of ethanol (0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, and 1.25 g/kg) prior to injection of either saline or naloxone (0.05 mg/kg). In Experiment 3, animals were pretreated i.p. with the selective ,-opioid antagonist CTOP (0, 0.01, 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 mg/kg) 30 minutes prior to challenge with saline or ethanol (0.5 g/kg). Results:, Low doses of ethanol (0.5 and 0.75 g/kg) produced social facilitation, as indexed by significant increases in play fighting and social investigation. Both doses of naloxone and the three highest doses of CTOP blocked the stimulatory effects of ethanol on play fighting but not on social investigation. These effects were not associated with alterations in ethanol pharmacokinetic properties or with shifts in the biphasic ethanol dose,response curve. Conclusions:, Ethanol-induced facilitation of social play behavior seen in adolescent animals is mediated in part through ethanol-induced release of endogenous ligands for the ,-opioid receptor or an ethanol-associated enhancement of sensitivity of these receptors for their endogenous ligands. [source]


Mu opioid receptor modulation of somatodendritic dopamine overflow: GABAergic and glutamatergic mechanisms

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, Issue 2 2009
V. I. Chefer
Abstract Mu opioid receptor (MOR) regulation of somatodendritic dopamine neurotransmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) was investigated using conventional microdialysis in freely moving rats and mice. Reverse dialysis of the MOR agonist DAMGO (50 and 100 ,m) into the VTA of rats produced a concentration-dependent increase in dialysate dopamine concentrations. Basal dopamine overflow in the VTA was unaltered in mice lacking the MOR gene. However, basal ,-aminobutyric acid (GABA) overflow in these animals was significantly increased, whereas glutamate overflow was decreased. Intra-VTA perfusion of DAMGO into wild-type (WT) mice increased dopamine overflow. GABA concentrations were decreased, whereas glutamate concentrations in the VTA were unaltered. Consistent with the loss of MOR, no effect of DAMGO was observed in MOR knockout (KO) mice. These data provide the first direct demonstration of tonically active MOR systems in the VTA that regulate basal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in this region. We hypothesize that increased GABAergic neurotransmission following constitutive deletion of MOR is due to the elimination of a tonic inhibitory influence of MOR on GABAergic neurons in the VTA, whereas decreased glutamatergic neurotransmission in MOR KO mice is a consequence of intensified GABA tone on glutamatergic neurons and/or terminals. As a consequence, somatodendritic dopamine release is unaltered. Furthermore, MOR KO mice do not exhibit the positive correlation between basal dopamine levels and the glutamate/GABA ratio observed in WT mice. Together, our findings indicate a critical role of VTA MOR in maintaining an intricate balance between excitatory and inhibitory inputs to dopaminergic neurons. [source]


How to design an opioid drug that causes reduced tolerance and dependence

ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY, Issue 5 2010
Amy Chang Berger BS
Mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists such as morphine are extremely effective treatments for acute pain. In the setting of chronic pain, however, their long-term utility is limited by the development of tolerance and physical dependence. Drug companies have tried to overcome these problems by simply "dialing up" signal transduction at the receptor, designing more potent and efficacious agonists and more long-lasting formulations. Neither of these strategies has proven to be successful, however, because the net amount of signal transduction, particularly over extended periods of drug use, is a product of much more than the pharmacokinetic properties of potency, efficacy, half-life, and bioavailability, the mainstays of traditional pharmaceutical screening. Both the quantity and quality of signal transduction are influenced by many regulated processes, including receptor desensitization, trafficking, and oligomerization. Importantly, the efficiency with which an agonist first stimulates signal transduction is not necessarily related to the efficiency with which it stimulates these other processes. Here we describe recent findings that suggest MOR agonists with diminished propensity to cause tolerance and dependence can be identified by screening drugs for the ability to induce MOR desensitization, endocytosis, and recycling. We also discuss preliminary evidence that heteromers of the delta opioid receptor and the MOR are pronociceptive, and that drugs that spare such heteromers may also induce reduced tolerance. ANN NEUROL 2010;67:559,569 [source]


Mu opioid receptors are in discrete hippocampal interneuron subpopulations

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 2 2002
Carrie T. Drake
Abstract In the rat hippocampal formation, application of mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists disinhibits principal cells, promoting excitation-dependent processes such as epileptogenesis and long-term potentiation. However, the precise location of MORs in particular inhibitory circuits, has not been determined, and the roles of MORs in endogenous functioning are unclear. To address these issues, the distribution of MOR-like immunoreactivity (-li) was examined in several populations of inhibitory hippocampal neurons in the CA1 region using light and electron microscopy. We found that MOR-li was present in many parvalbumin-containing basket cells, but absent from cholecystokinin-labeled basket cells. MOR-li was also commonly in interneurons containing somatostatin-li or neuropeptide Y-li that resembled the "oriens,lacunosum-moleculare" (O-LM) interneurons innervating pyramidal cell distal dendrites. Finally, MOR-li was in some vasoactive intestinal peptide- or calretinin-containing profiles resembling interneurons that primarily innervate other interneurons. These findings indicate that MOR-containing neurons form a neurochemically and functionally heterogeneous subset of hippocampal GABAergic neurons. MORs are most frequently on interneurons that are specialized to inhibit pyramidal cells, and are on a limited number of interneurons that target other interneurons. Moreover, the distribution of MORs to different neuronal types in several laminae, some relatively far from endogenous opioids, suggests normal functional roles that are different from the actions seen with exogenous agonists such as morphine. Hippocampus 2002;12:119,136. 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


G,, that interacts with adenylyl cyclase in opioid tolerance originates from a Gs protein

DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY, Issue 12 2006
Hoau-Yan Wang
Abstract We previously demonstrated that chronic morphine induces a change in G protein coupling by the mu opioid receptor (MOR) from Gi/o to Gs, concurrent with the instatement of an interaction between G,, and adenylyl cyclase types II and IV. These two signaling changes confer excitatory effects on the cell in place of the typical inhibition by opioids and are associated with morphine tolerance and dependence. Both signaling changes and these behavioral manifestations of chronic morphine are attenuated by cotreatment with ultra-low-dose naloxone. In the present work, using striatum from chronic morphine-treated rats, we isotyped the G, within Gs and Go heterotrimers that coupled to MOR and compared these to the G, isotype of the G,, that interacted with adenylyl cyclase II or IV after chronic morphine treatment. Isotyping results show that chronic morphine causes a Gs heterotrimer associated with MOR to release its G,, to interact with adenylyl cyclase. These data suggest that the switch to Gs coupling by MOR in response to chronic morphine, which is attenuated by ultra-low-dose opioid antagonist cotreatment, leads to a two-pronged stimulation of adenylyl cyclase utilizing both G, and G,, subunits of the Gs protein novel to this receptor. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Neurobiol, 2006 [source]


Changes in mu opioid receptors and rheological properties of erythrocytes among opioid abusers

ADDICTION BIOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
ALLEN R. ZEIGER
The high prevalence of anemia among chronic opioid users leads us to propose that chronic opiate use results in elevated mu opioid receptor levels on human erythrocytes and that these receptor changes may affect erythrocyte membrane properties. Blood samples from 17 opioid-dependent subjects (based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition or DSM-IV) and 15 drug-free controls were assayed for mu opioid receptors on erythrocytes using a flow cytometry immunoassay. Deformability and the hydration status of erythrocytes were studied by ektacytometry. Data were analyzed by independent t-tests, tests of correlation, chi square and cluster analyses. As expected, the percentage of erythrocytes from opioiddependent subjects with opioid receptors (opioid receptor levels) was significantly higher (47.4 38.3%) than controls (22.8 30.1%) (t = 2.01, df = 30, p < 0.05). Also, the opioid-dependent patients showed a wide variation in the percentage of erythrocytes bearing opioid receptors and data analyses of these patients showed two strongly defined clusters. One subgroup consisted of nine individuals with very high receptor levels (mean = 81.5%) while the other had eight patients with low receptor levels (mean = 9.1%) that were not significantly different than the receptor levels of controls. Ektacytometry of opioid dependent patients with high opioid receptor levels showed changes in rheological parameters of erythrocytes, such as deformability index and cellular hydration. For example, a positive correlation was observed between opioid receptor levels and deformability indices among opioid-dependent patients (r = 0.74, p < 0.005). Our findings indicate that the mu opioid receptor is present on human erythrocytes, although with considerable variation in receptor levels, and that the levels of this receptor are significantly elevated with chronic opioid exposure. Moreover, erythrocytes with high opioid receptor levels from chronic opiate users seem to have high deformability. This study may offer clues to the biological properties of peripheral blood cells that may be mediated by mu opioid receptors and lead to a better understanding of some of the clinical effects of opioid use. [source]


Mu opioid receptors are in discrete hippocampal interneuron subpopulations

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 2 2002
Carrie T. Drake
Abstract In the rat hippocampal formation, application of mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists disinhibits principal cells, promoting excitation-dependent processes such as epileptogenesis and long-term potentiation. However, the precise location of MORs in particular inhibitory circuits, has not been determined, and the roles of MORs in endogenous functioning are unclear. To address these issues, the distribution of MOR-like immunoreactivity (-li) was examined in several populations of inhibitory hippocampal neurons in the CA1 region using light and electron microscopy. We found that MOR-li was present in many parvalbumin-containing basket cells, but absent from cholecystokinin-labeled basket cells. MOR-li was also commonly in interneurons containing somatostatin-li or neuropeptide Y-li that resembled the "oriens,lacunosum-moleculare" (O-LM) interneurons innervating pyramidal cell distal dendrites. Finally, MOR-li was in some vasoactive intestinal peptide- or calretinin-containing profiles resembling interneurons that primarily innervate other interneurons. These findings indicate that MOR-containing neurons form a neurochemically and functionally heterogeneous subset of hippocampal GABAergic neurons. MORs are most frequently on interneurons that are specialized to inhibit pyramidal cells, and are on a limited number of interneurons that target other interneurons. Moreover, the distribution of MORs to different neuronal types in several laminae, some relatively far from endogenous opioids, suggests normal functional roles that are different from the actions seen with exogenous agonists such as morphine. Hippocampus 2002;12:119,136. 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


The effects of local perfusion of DAMGO on extracellular GABA and glutamate concentrations in the rostral ventromedial medulla

JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY, Issue 3 2008
Raf Jan-Filip Schepers
Abstract Electrophysiological data suggest an involvement of rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) GABA and glutamate (GLU) neurons in morphine analgesia. Direct evidence that extracellular concentrations of GABA or GLU are altered in response to mu opioid receptor (MOP-R) activation is, however, lacking. We used in vivo microdialysis to investigate this issue. Basal GABA overflow increased in response to intra-RVM perfusion of KCl (60 mmol/L). Reverse microdialysis of the MOP-R agonist d -Ala(2),NMePhe(4),Gly-ol(5)]enkephalin (DAMGO) (20,500 ,mol/L) produced a concentration-dependent decrease of RVM GABA overflow. Behavioral testing revealed that concentrations that decreased GABA levels increased thermal withdrawal thresholds. A lower agonist concentration that did not increase GABA failed to alter thermal thresholds. DAMGO did not alter GLU concentrations. However, KCl also failed to modify GLU release. Since rapid, transporter-mediated uptake may mask the detection of changes in GLU release, the selective excitatory amino acid transporter inhibitor pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (tPDC, 0.6 mmol/L) was added to the perfusion medium for subsequent studies. tPDC increased GLU concentrations, confirming transport inhibition. KCl increased GLU dialysate levels in the presence of tPDC, demonstrating that transport inhibition permits detection of depolarization-evoked GLU overflow. In the presence of tPDC, DAMGO increased GLU overflow in a concentration-dependent manner. These data demonstrate that MOP-R activation decreases GABA and increases GLU release in the RVM. We hypothesize that the opposing effects of MOP-R on GLU and GABA transmission contribute to opiate antinociception. [source]


Changes in mu opioid receptors and rheological properties of erythrocytes among opioid abusers

ADDICTION BIOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
ALLEN R. ZEIGER
The high prevalence of anemia among chronic opioid users leads us to propose that chronic opiate use results in elevated mu opioid receptor levels on human erythrocytes and that these receptor changes may affect erythrocyte membrane properties. Blood samples from 17 opioid-dependent subjects (based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition or DSM-IV) and 15 drug-free controls were assayed for mu opioid receptors on erythrocytes using a flow cytometry immunoassay. Deformability and the hydration status of erythrocytes were studied by ektacytometry. Data were analyzed by independent t-tests, tests of correlation, chi square and cluster analyses. As expected, the percentage of erythrocytes from opioiddependent subjects with opioid receptors (opioid receptor levels) was significantly higher (47.4 38.3%) than controls (22.8 30.1%) (t = 2.01, df = 30, p < 0.05). Also, the opioid-dependent patients showed a wide variation in the percentage of erythrocytes bearing opioid receptors and data analyses of these patients showed two strongly defined clusters. One subgroup consisted of nine individuals with very high receptor levels (mean = 81.5%) while the other had eight patients with low receptor levels (mean = 9.1%) that were not significantly different than the receptor levels of controls. Ektacytometry of opioid dependent patients with high opioid receptor levels showed changes in rheological parameters of erythrocytes, such as deformability index and cellular hydration. For example, a positive correlation was observed between opioid receptor levels and deformability indices among opioid-dependent patients (r = 0.74, p < 0.005). Our findings indicate that the mu opioid receptor is present on human erythrocytes, although with considerable variation in receptor levels, and that the levels of this receptor are significantly elevated with chronic opioid exposure. Moreover, erythrocytes with high opioid receptor levels from chronic opiate users seem to have high deformability. This study may offer clues to the biological properties of peripheral blood cells that may be mediated by mu opioid receptors and lead to a better understanding of some of the clinical effects of opioid use. [source]