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Sample records for activate opioid receptors

  1. Immunomodulatory effects of endogenous and synthetic peptides activating opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Pomorska, Dorota K; Gach, Katarzyna; Janecka, Anna

    2014-01-01

    The main role of endogenous opioid peptides is the modulation of pain. Opioid peptides exert their analgesic activity by binding to the opioid receptors distributed widely in the central nervous system (CNS). However, opioid receptors are also found on tissues and organs outside the CNS, including the cells of the immune system, indicating that opioids are capable of exerting additional effects in periphery. Morphine, which is a gold standard in the treatment of chronic pain, is well-known for its immunosuppressive effects. Much less is known about the immunomodulatory effects exerted by endogenous (enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins and endomorphins) and synthetic peptides activating opioid receptors. In this review we tried to summarize opioid peptide-mediated modulation of immune cell functions which can be stimulatory as well as inhibitory.

  2. Opioid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Stein, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Opioids are the oldest and most potent drugs for the treatment of severe pain. Their clinical application is undisputed in acute (e.g., postoperative) and cancer pain, but their long-term use in chronic pain has met increasing scrutiny. This article reviews mechanisms underlying opioid analgesia and other opioid actions. It discusses the structure, function, and plasticity of opioid receptors; the central and peripheral sites of analgesic actions and side effects; endogenous and exogenous opioid receptor ligands; and conventional and novel opioid compounds. Challenging clinical situations, such as the tension between chronic pain and addiction, are also illustrated.

  3. Endomorphins fully activate a cloned human mu opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Gong, J; Strong, J A; Zhang, S; Yue, X; DeHaven, R N; Daubert, J D; Cassel, J A; Yu, G; Mansson, E; Yu, L

    1998-11-13

    Endomorphins were recently identified as endogenous ligands with high selectivity for mu opioid receptors. We have characterized the ability of endomorphins to bind to and functionally activate the cloned human mu opioid receptor. Both endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 exhibited binding selectivity for the mu opioid receptor over the delta and kappa opioid receptors. Both agonists inhibited forskolin-stimulated increase of cAMP in a dose-dependent fashion. When the mu opioid receptor was coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes with G protein-activated K+ channels, application of either endomorphin activated an inward K+ current. This activation was dose-dependent and blocked by naloxone. Both endomorphins acted as full agonists with efficacy similar to that of [D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAMGO). These data indicate that endomorphins act as full agonists at the human mu opioid receptor, capable of stimulating the receptor to inhibit the cAMP/adenylyl cyclase pathway and activate G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels.

  4. Constitutive opioid receptor activation: a prerequisite mechanism involved in acute opioid withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Freye, E; Levy, Jv

    2005-06-01

    The opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone, which is used in detoxification and rehabilitation programmes in opioid addicts, can precipitate opioid withdrawal symptoms even in patients who have no opioid present. We tested the hypothesis that in order to precipitate withdrawal, opioids need to convert the inactive opioid receptor site via protein kinase C into a constitutively active form on which the antagonist precipitates withdrawal. Acute microg/kg), given for 6 days, which was followed by the antagonist naltrexone (20 microg/kg i.v.) in the awake trained canine (n = 10). Abrupt displacement of opioid binding resulted in acute withdrawal symptoms: increase in blood pressure, heart rate, increase in amplitude height of somatosensory evoked potential, reduced tolerance to colon distention and a significant increase in grading of vegetative variables (restlessness, panting, thrashing of the head, whining, yawning, gnawing, salivation and/or rhinorrhoea, mydriasis, stepping of extremities and vomiting). Following a washout period of 14 days, the same animals were given the highly specific protein kinase C inhibitor H7 (250 microg/kg) prior to the same dosages of sufentanil and naltrexone. Such pretreatment was able to either attenuate or completely abolish the acute withdrawal symptoms. The data suggest that for precipitation of withdrawal, intracellular phosphorylation is a prerequisite in order to activate the opioid mu-receptor. In such a setting, naltrexone acts like an 'inverse agonist' relative to the action of the antagonist on a non-preoccupied receptor site not being exposed previously to a potent opioid agonist.

  5. Endothelin-converting enzyme 2 differentially regulates opioid receptor activity

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, A; Fujita, W; Gomes, I; Bobeck, E; Devi, L A

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Opioid receptor function is modulated by post-activation events such as receptor endocytosis, recycling and/or degradation. While it is generally understood that the peptide ligand gets co-endocytosed with the receptor, relatively few studies have investigated the role of the endocytosed peptide and peptide processing enzymes in regulating receptor function. In this study, we focused on endothelin-converting enzyme 2 (ECE2), a member of the neprilysin family of metallopeptidases that exhibits an acidic pH optimum, localizes to an intracellular compartment and selectively processes neuropeptides including opioid peptides in vitro, and examined its role in modulating μ receptor recycling and resensitization. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The effect of ECE2 inhibition on hydrolysis of the endocytosed peptide was examined using thin-layer chromatography and on μ opioid receptor trafficking using either elisa or microscopy. The effect of ECE2 inhibition on receptor signalling was measured using a cAMP assay and, in vivo, on antinociception induced by intrathecally administered opioids by the tail-flick assay. KEY RESULTS The highly selective ECE2 inhibitor, S136492, significantly impaired μ receptor recycling and signalling by only those ligands that are ECE2 substrates and this was seen both in heterologous cells and in cells endogenously co-expressing μ receptors with ECE2. We also found that ECE2 inhibition attenuated antinociception mediated only by opioid peptides that are ECE2 substrates. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These results suggest that ECE2, by selectively processing endogenous opioid peptides in the endocytic compartment, plays a role in modulating opioid receptor activity. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24990314

  6. Antitussive activity of Withania somnifera and opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Nosálová, Gabriela; Sivová, Veronika; Ray, Bimalendu; Fraňová, Soňa; Ondrejka, Igor; Flešková, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Arabinogalactan is a polysaccharide isolated from the roots of the medicinal plant Withania somnifera L. It contains 65% arabinose and 18% galactose. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antitussive activity of arabinogalactan in conscious, healthy adult guinea pigs and the role of the opioid pathway in the antitussive action. A polysaccharide extract was given orally in a dose of 50 mg/kg. Cough was induced by an aerosol of citric acid in a concentration 0.3 mol/L, generated by a jet nebulizer into a plethysmographic chamber. The intensity of cough response was defined as the number of cough efforts counted during a 3-min exposure to the aerosol. The major finding was that arabinogalactan clearly suppressed the cough reflex; the suppression was comparable with that of codeine that was taken as a reference drug. The involvement of the opioid system was tested with the use of a blood-brain barrier penetrable, naloxone hydrochloride, and non-penetrable, naloxone methiodide, to distinguish between the central and peripheral mu-opioid receptor pathways. Both opioid antagonists acted to reverse the arabinogalactan-induced cough suppression; the reversion was total over time with the latter antagonist. We failed to confirm the presence of a bronchodilating effect of the polysaccharide, which could be involved in its antitussive action. We conclude that the polysaccharide arabinogalactan from Withania somnifera has a distinct antitussive activity consisting of cough suppression and that this action involves the mu-opioid receptor pathways.

  7. Differential effects of exercise on brain opioid receptor binding and activation in rats.

    PubMed

    Arida, Ricardo Mario; Gomes da Silva, Sérgio; de Almeida, Alexandre Aparecido; Cavalheiro, Esper Abrão; Zavala-Tecuapetla, Cecilia; Brand, Serge; Rocha, Luisa

    2015-01-01

    Physical exercise stimulates the release of endogenous opioid peptides supposed to be responsible for changes in mood, anxiety, and performance. Exercise alters sensitivity to these effects that modify the efficacy at the opioid receptor. Although there is evidence that relates exercise to neuropeptide expression in the brain, the effects of exercise on opioid receptor binding and signal transduction mechanisms downstream of these receptors have not been explored. Here, we characterized the binding and G protein activation of mu opioid receptor, kappa opioid receptor or delta opioid receptor in several brain regions following acute (7 days) and chronic (30 days) exercise. As regards short- (acute) or long-term effects (chronic) of exercise, overall, higher opioid receptor binding was observed in acute-exercise animals and the opposite was found in the chronic-exercise animals. The binding of [(35) S]GTPγS under basal conditions (absence of agonists) was elevated in sensorimotor cortex and hippocampus, an effect more evident after chronic exercise. Divergence of findings was observed for mu opioid receptor, kappa opioid receptor, and delta opioid receptor receptor activation in our study. Our results support existing evidence of opioid receptor binding and G protein activation occurring differentially in brain regions in response to diverse exercise stimuli. We characterized the binding and G protein activation of mu, kappa, and delta opioid receptors in several brain regions following acute (7 days) and chronic (30 days) exercise. Higher opioid receptor binding was observed in the acute exercise animal group and opposite findings in the chronic exercise group. Higher G protein activation under basal conditions was noted in rats submitted to chronic exercise, as visible in the depicted pseudo-color autoradiograms.

  8. Peripheral Sensitization Increases Opioid Receptor Expression and Activation by Crotalphine in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zambelli, Vanessa Olzon; Fernandes, Ana Carolina de Oliveira; Gutierrez, Vanessa Pacciari; Ferreira, Julio Cesar Batista; Parada, Carlos Amilcar; Mochly-Rosen, Daria; Cury, Yara

    2014-01-01

    Inflammation enhances the peripheral analgesic efficacy of opioid drugs, but the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon have not been fully elucidated. Crotalphine (CRP), a peptide that was first isolated from South American rattlesnake C.d. terrificus venom, induces a potent and long-lasting anti-nociceptive effect that is mediated by the activation of peripheral opioid receptors. Because the high efficacy of CRP is only observed in the presence of inflammation, we aimed to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the CRP anti-nociceptive effect induced by inflammation. Using real-time RT-PCR, western blot analysis and ELISA assays, we demonstrate that the intraplantar injection of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) increases the mRNA and protein levels of the µ- and κ-opioid receptors in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and paw tissue of rats within 3 h of the injection. Using conformation state-sensitive antibodies that recognize activated opioid receptors, we show that PGE2, alone does not increase the activation of these opioid receptors but that in the presence of PGE2, the activation of specific opioid receptors by CRP and selective µ- and κ-opioid receptor agonists (positive controls) increases. Furthermore, PGE2 down-regulated the expression and activation of the δ-opioid receptor. CRP increased the level of activated mitogen-activated protein kinases in cultured DRG neurons, and this increase was dependent on the activation of protein kinase Cζ. This CRP effect was much more prominent when the cells were pretreated with PGE2. These results indicate that the expression and activation of peripheral opioid receptors by opioid-like drugs can be up- or down-regulated in the presence of an acute injury and that acute tissue injury enhances the efficacy of peripheral opioids. PMID:24594607

  9. Structural insights into µ-opioid receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Weijiao; Manglik, Aashish; Venkatakrishnan, A J; Laeremans, Toon; Feinberg, Evan N; Sanborn, Adrian L; Kato, Hideaki E; Livingston, Kathryn E; Thorsen, Thor S; Kling, Ralf C; Granier, Sébastien; Gmeiner, Peter; Husbands, Stephen M; Traynor, John R; Weis, William I; Steyaert, Jan; Dror, Ron O; Kobilka, Brian K

    2015-08-20

    Activation of the μ-opioid receptor (μOR) is responsible for the efficacy of the most effective analgesics. To shed light on the structural basis for μOR activation, here we report a 2.1 Å X-ray crystal structure of the murine μOR bound to the morphinan agonist BU72 and a G protein mimetic camelid antibody fragment. The BU72-stabilized changes in the μOR binding pocket are subtle and differ from those observed for agonist-bound structures of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) and the M2 muscarinic receptor. Comparison with active β2AR reveals a common rearrangement in the packing of three conserved amino acids in the core of the μOR, and molecular dynamics simulations illustrate how the ligand-binding pocket is conformationally linked to this conserved triad. Additionally, an extensive polar network between the ligand-binding pocket and the cytoplasmic domains appears to play a similar role in signal propagation for all three G-protein-coupled receptors.

  10. Opioid mediated activity and expression of mu and delta opioid receptors in isolated human term non-labouring myometrium.

    PubMed

    Fanning, Rebecca A; McMorrow, Jason P; Campion, Deirdre P; Carey, Michael F; O'Connor, John J

    2013-01-05

    The existence of opioid receptors in mammalian myometrial tissue is now widely accepted. Previously enkephalin degrading enzymes have been shown to be elevated in pregnant rat uterus and a met-enkephalin analogue has been shown to alter spontaneous contractility of rat myometrium. Here we have undertaken studies to determine the effects of met-enkephalin on in vitro human myometrial contractility and investigate the expression of opioid receptors in pregnant myometrium. Myometrial biopsies were taken from women undergoing elective caesarean delivery at term. Organ bath experiments were used to investigate the effect of the met-enkephalin analogue [d-Ala 2, d-met 5] enkephalin (DAMEA) on spontaneous contractility. A confocal immunofluorescent technique and real time PCR were used to determine the expression of protein and mRNA, respectively for two opioid receptor subtypes, mu and delta. DAMEA had a concentration dependent inhibitory effect on contractile activity (1 × 10(-7)M-1 × 10(-4)M; 54% reduction in contractile activity, P<0.001 at 1 × 10(-4)M concentration). Mu and delta opioid receptor protein sub-types and their respective mRNA were identified in all tissues sampled. This is the first report of opioid receptor expression and of an opioid mediated uterorelaxant action in term human non-labouring myometrium in vitro.

  11. Modulation of Opioid Receptor Ligand Affinity and Efficacy Using Active and Inactive State Receptor Models

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Jessica P.; Purington, Lauren C.; Pogozheva, Irina D.; Traynor, John R.; Mosberg, Henry I.

    2012-01-01

    Mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists are widely used for the treatment of pain; however chronic use results in the development of tolerance and dependence. It has been demonstrated that co-administration of a MOR agonist with a delta opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist maintains the analgesia associated with MOR agonists, but with reduced negative side effects. Using our newly refined opioid receptor models for structure-based ligand design, we have synthesized several pentapeptides with tailored affinity and efficacy profiles. In particular, we have obtained pentapeptides 8, Tyr-c(S-S)[DCys-1Nal-Nle-Cys]NH2, and 12, Tyr-c(S-S)[DCys-1Nal-Nle-Cys]OH, which demonstrates high affinity and full agonist behavior at MOR, high affinity but very low efficacy for DOR, and minimal affinity for the kappa opioid receptor (KOR). Functional properties of these peptides as MOR agonists/DOR antagonists lacking undesired KOR activity make them promising candidates for future in vivo studies of MOR/DOR interactions. Subtle structural variation of 12, by substituting D-Cys5 for L-Cys5, generated analog 13 which maintains low nanomolar MOR and DOR affinity, but which displays no efficacy at either receptor. These results demonstrate the power and utility of accurate receptor models for structure-based ligand design, as well as the profound sensitivity of ligand function on its structure. PMID:22882801

  12. Unexpected Opioid Activity Profiles of Analogs of the Novel Peptide Kappa Opioid Receptor Ligand CJ-15,208

    PubMed Central

    Aldrich, Jane V.; Kulkarni, Santosh S.; Senadheera, Sanjeewa N.; Ross, Nicolette C.; Reilley, Kate J.; Eans, Shainnel O.; Ganno, Michelle L.; Murray, Thomas F.; McLaughlin, Jay P.

    2013-01-01

    An alanine scan was performed on the novel kappa opioid receptor (KOR) peptide ligand CJ-15,208 to determine which residues contribute to the potent in vivo agonist activity observed for the parent peptide. These cyclic tetrapeptides were synthesized by a combination of solid phase peptide synthesis of the linear precursors, followed by cyclization in solution. Like the parent peptide, each of the analogs exhibited agonist activity and KOR antagonist activity in an antinociceptive assay in vivo. Unlike the parent peptide, the agonist activity of the potent analogs was mediated predominantly if not exclusively by mu opioid receptors (MOR). Thus analogs 2 and 4, in which one of the phenylalanine residues was replaced by alanine, exhibited both potent MOR agonist activity and KOR antagonist activity in vivo. These peptides represent novel lead compounds for the development of peptide-based opioid analgesics. PMID:21761566

  13. Maturational alterations in constitutive activity of medial prefrontal cortex kappa-opioid receptors in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Sirohi, Sunil; Walker, Brendan M

    2015-11-01

    Opioid receptors can display spontaneous agonist-independent G-protein signaling (basal signaling/constitutive activity). While constitutive κ-opioid receptor (KOR) activity has been documented in vitro, it remains unknown if KORs are constitutively active in native systems. Using [(35) S] guanosine 5'-O-[gamma-thio] triphosphate coupling assay that measures receptor functional state, we identified the presence of medial prefrontal cortex KOR constitutive activity in young rats that declined with age. Furthermore, basal signaling showed an age-related decline and was insensitive to neutral opioid antagonist challenge. Collectively, the present data are first to demonstrate age-dependent alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex KOR constitutive activity in rats and changes in the constitutive activity of KORs can differentially impact KOR ligand efficacy. These data provide novel insights into the functional properties of the KOR system and warrant further consideration of KOR constitutive activity in normal and pathophysiological behavior. Opioid receptors exhibit agonist-independent constitutive activity; however, kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) constitutive activity has not been demonstrated in native systems. Our results confirm KOR constitutive activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that declines with age. With the ability to presynaptically inhibit multiple neurotransmitter systems in the mPFC, maturational or patho-logical alterations in constitutive activity could disrupt corticofugal glutamatergic pyramidal projection neurons mediating executive function. Regulation of KOR constitutive activity could serve as a therapeutic target to treat compromised executive function.

  14. Neuropathic Pain Activates the Endogenous κ Opioid System in Mouse Spinal Cord and Induces Opioid Receptor Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Mei; Petraschka, Michael; McLaughlin, Jay P.; Westenbroek, Ruth E.; Caron, Marc G.; Lefkowitz, Robert J.; Czyzyk, Traci A.; Pintar, John E.; Terman, Gregory W.; Chavkin, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Release of endogenous dynorphin opioids within the spinal cord after partial sciatic nerve ligation (pSNL) is known to contribute to the neuropathic pain processes. Using a phosphoselective antibody [κ opioid receptor (KOR-P)] able to detect the serine 369 phosphorylated form of the KOR, we determined possible sites of dynorphin action within the spinal cord after pSNL. KOR-P immunoreactivity (IR) was markedly increased in the L4 –L5 spinal dorsal horn of wild-type C57BL/6 mice (7–21 d) after lesion, but not in mice pretreated with the KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (norBNI). In addition, knock-out mice lacking prodynorphin, KOR, or G-protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) did not show significant increases in KOR-P IR after pSNL. KOR-P IR was colocalized in both GABAergic neurons and GFAP-positive astrocytes in both ipsilateral and contralateral spinal dorsal horn. Consistent with sustained opioid release, KOR knock-out mice developed significantly increased tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in both the early (first week) and late (third week) interval after lesion. Similarly, mice pretreated with norBNI showed enhanced hyperalgesia and allodynia during the 3 weeks after pSNL. Because sustained activation of opioid receptors might induce tolerance, we measured the antinociceptive effect of the κ agonist U50,488 using radiant heat applied to the ipsilateral hindpaw, and we found that agonist potency was significantly decreased 7 d after pSNL. In contrast, neither prodynorphin nor GRK3 knock-out mice showed U50,488 tolerance after pSNL. These findings suggest that pSNL induced a sustained release of endogenous prodynorphin-derived opioid peptides that activated an anti-nociceptive KOR system in mouse spinal cord. Thus, endogenous dynorphin had both pronociceptive and antinociceptive actions after nerve injury and induced GRK3-mediated opioid tolerance. PMID:15140929

  15. Evaluation of Analgesic Activity of Papaver libanoticum Extract in Mice: Involvement of Opioids Receptors.

    PubMed

    Hijazi, Mohamad Ali; El-Mallah, Ahmed; Aboul-Ela, Maha; Ellakany, Abdalla

    2017-01-01

    Papaver libanoticum is an endemic plant to Lebanese region (family Papaveraceae) that has not been investigated before. The present study aimed to explore the analgesic activity of dried ethanolic extract of Papaver libanoticum (PLE) using tail flick, hot plate, and acetic acid induced writhing models in mice. The involvement of opioid receptors in the analgesic mechanism was investigated using naloxone antagonism. Results demonstrated that PLE exhibited a potent dose dependent analgesic activity in all tested models for analgesia. The analgesic effect involved activation of opioid receptors in the central nervous system, where both spinal and supraspinal components might be involved. The time course for analgesia revealed maximum activity after three hours in both tail flick and hot plate methods, which was prolonged to 24 hours. Metabolites of PLE could be responsible for activation of opioid receptors. The EC50 of PLE was 79 and 50 mg/kg in tail flick and hot plate tests, respectively. The total coverage of analgesia by PLE was double that of morphine in both tests. In conclusion, PLE proved to have opioid agonistic activity with a novel feature of slow and prolonged effect. The present study could add a potential tool in the armaments of opioid drugs as a natural potent analgesic and for treatment of opioid withdrawal syndrome.

  16. Evaluation of Analgesic Activity of Papaver libanoticum Extract in Mice: Involvement of Opioids Receptors

    PubMed Central

    El-Mallah, Ahmed; Aboul-Ela, Maha; Ellakany, Abdalla

    2017-01-01

    Papaver libanoticum is an endemic plant to Lebanese region (family Papaveraceae) that has not been investigated before. The present study aimed to explore the analgesic activity of dried ethanolic extract of Papaver libanoticum (PLE) using tail flick, hot plate, and acetic acid induced writhing models in mice. The involvement of opioid receptors in the analgesic mechanism was investigated using naloxone antagonism. Results demonstrated that PLE exhibited a potent dose dependent analgesic activity in all tested models for analgesia. The analgesic effect involved activation of opioid receptors in the central nervous system, where both spinal and supraspinal components might be involved. The time course for analgesia revealed maximum activity after three hours in both tail flick and hot plate methods, which was prolonged to 24 hours. Metabolites of PLE could be responsible for activation of opioid receptors. The EC50 of PLE was 79 and 50 mg/kg in tail flick and hot plate tests, respectively. The total coverage of analgesia by PLE was double that of morphine in both tests. In conclusion, PLE proved to have opioid agonistic activity with a novel feature of slow and prolonged effect. The present study could add a potential tool in the armaments of opioid drugs as a natural potent analgesic and for treatment of opioid withdrawal syndrome. PMID:28280516

  17. Cannabinoid and heroin activation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission by a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism.

    PubMed

    Tanda, G; Pontieri, F E; Di Chiara, G

    1997-06-27

    The effects of the active ingredient of Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), and of the highly addictive drug heroin on in vivo dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens were compared in Sprague-Dawley rats by brain microdialysis. Delta9-THC and heroin increased extracellular dopamine concentrations selectively in the shell of the nucleus accumbens; these effects were mimicked by the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2. SR141716A, an antagonist of central cannabinoid receptors, prevented the effects of Delta9-THC but not those of heroin. Naloxone, a generic opioid antagonist, administered systemically, or naloxonazine, an antagonist of micro1 opioid receptors, infused into the ventral tegmentum, prevented the action of cannabinoids and heroin on dopamine transmission. Thus, Delta9-THC and heroin exert similar effects on mesolimbic dopamine transmission through a common mu1 opioid receptor mechanism located in the ventral mesencephalic tegmentum.

  18. Molecular characterization of opioid receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Howard, A.D.

    1986-01-01

    The aim of this research was to purify and characterize active opioid receptors and elucidate molecular aspects of opioid receptor heterogeneity. Purification to apparent homogeneity of an opioid binding protein from bovine caudate was achieved by solubilization in the non-ionic detergent, digitonin, followed by sequential chromatography on the opiate affinity matrix, ..beta..-naltrexylethylenediamine-CH-Sepharose 4B, and on the lectine affinity matrix, wheat germ agglutinin-agarose. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS-PAGE) followed by autoradiography revealed that radioiodinated purified receptor gave a single band. Purified receptor preparations showed a specific activity of 12,000-15,000 fmol of opiate bound per mg of protein. Radioiodinated human beta-endorphin (/sup 125/I-beta-end/sub H/) was used as a probe to investigate the ligand binding subunits of mu and delta opioid receptors. /sup 125/I-beta-end/sub H/ was shown to bind to a variety of opioid receptor-containing tissues with high affinity and specificity with preference for mu and delta sites, and with little, if any, binding to kappa sites. Affinity crosslinking techniques were employed to covalently link /sup 125/I-beta-end/sub H/ to opioid receptors, utilizing derivatives of bis-succinimidyl esters that are bifunctional crosslinkers with specificities for amino and sulfhydryl groups. This, and competition experiments with high type-selective ligands, permitted the assignment of two labeled peptides to their receptor types, namely a peptide of M/sub r/ = 65,000 for mu receptors and one of M/sub r/ = 53,000 for delta receptors.

  19. Cannabinoid-induced stimulation of motor activity in planaria through an opioid receptor-mediated mechanism.

    PubMed

    Buttarelli, Francesca R; Pontieri, Francesco E; Margotta, Vito; Palladini, Guido

    2002-01-01

    Planaria, the most primitive example of centralization and cephalization of the nervous system along phylogeny, shows specific stereotyped behavioral patterns following exposure to drugs acting on neural transmission. In this study, the authors investigated the effects of exposure to the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WTN55212.2 on motor activity in planaria. WTN55212.2 produced dose-dependent stimulation of motor behavior. High doses of the drug caused stereotyped activities identical to those seen previously with opioid agonists. These effects were antagonized by coexposure to cannabinoid or opioid receptor antagonists. The results indicate that functional interactions between cannabinoid and opioid systems are highly conserved along phylogeny, at least at the behavioral level.

  20. The mu-opioid receptor gene-dose dependent reductions in G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and antinociception induced by endomorphins in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Mizoguchi, H; Narita, M; Oji, D E; Suganuma, C; Nagase, H; Sora, I; Uhl, G R; Cheng, E Y; Tseng, L F

    1999-01-01

    There appear to be different relationships between mu-opioid receptor densities and the acute and neuroadaptive mu-opioid agonist-induced responses of the multiple opioid neuronal systems, including important pons/medulla circuits. The recent success in creating mu-opioid receptor knockout mice allows studies of mu-opioid agonist-induced pharmacological and physiological effects in animals that express no, one or two copies of the mu-opioid receptor gene. We now report that the binding of mu-opioid receptor ligand, [3H][D-Ala2,NHPhe4,Gly-ol]enkephalin to membrane preparations of the pons/medulla was reduced by half in heterozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice and eliminated in homozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. The endogenous mu-opioid agonist peptides endomorphin-1 and -2 activate G-proteins in the pons/medulla from wild-type mice in a concentration-dependent fashion, as assessed using [35S]guanosine-5'-o-(3-thio)triphosphate binding. This stimulation was reduced to half of the wild-type levels in heterozygous mice and eliminated in homozygous knockout mice. The intracerebroventricular injection of either endomorphin-1 or endomorphin-2 produced marked antinociception in the hot-plate and tail-flick tests in wild-type mice. These antinociceptive actions were significantly reduced in heterozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, and virtually abolished in homozygous knockout mice. The mu-opioid receptors are the principal molecular targets for endomorphin-induced G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and the antinociception caused by the intracerebroventricular administration of mu-opioid agonists. These data support the notion that there are limited physiological mu-opioid receptor reserves for inducing G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and for the nociceptive modulation induced by the central administration of endomorphin-1 and -2.

  1. Synthesis and κ-Opioid Receptor Activity of Furan-Substituted Salvinorin A Analogues

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The neoclerodane diterpene salvinorin A, found in the leaves of Salvia divinorum, is a potent κ-opioid receptor agonist, making it an attractive scaffold for development into a treatment for substance abuse. Although several successful semisynthetic studies have been performed to elucidate structure–activity relationships, the lack of analogues with substitutions to the furan ring of salvinorin A has prevented a thorough understanding of its role in binding to the κ-opioid receptor. Herein we report the synthesis of several salvinorin A derivatives with modified furan rings. Evaluation of these compounds in a functional assay indicated that sterically less demanding substitutions are preferred, suggesting the furan ring is bound in a congested portion of the binding pocket. The most potent of the analogues successfully reduced drug-seeking behavior in an animal model of drug-relapse without producing the sedation observed with other κ-opioid agonists. PMID:25426797

  2. Synthesis and κ-opioid receptor activity of furan-substituted salvinorin A analogues.

    PubMed

    Riley, Andrew P; Groer, Chad E; Young, David; Ewald, Amy W; Kivell, Bronwyn M; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2014-12-26

    The neoclerodane diterpene salvinorin A, found in the leaves of Salvia divinorum, is a potent κ-opioid receptor agonist, making it an attractive scaffold for development into a treatment for substance abuse. Although several successful semisynthetic studies have been performed to elucidate structure-activity relationships, the lack of analogues with substitutions to the furan ring of salvinorin A has prevented a thorough understanding of its role in binding to the κ-opioid receptor. Herein we report the synthesis of several salvinorin A derivatives with modified furan rings. Evaluation of these compounds in a functional assay indicated that sterically less demanding substitutions are preferred, suggesting the furan ring is bound in a congested portion of the binding pocket. The most potent of the analogues successfully reduced drug-seeking behavior in an animal model of drug-relapse without producing the sedation observed with other κ-opioid agonists.

  3. Activation of the δ-opioid receptor promotes cutaneous wound healing by affecting keratinocyte intercellular adhesion and migration

    PubMed Central

    Bigliardi, P L; Neumann, C; Teo, Y L; Pant, A; Bigliardi-Qi, M

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In addition to its analgesic functions, the peripheral opioid receptor system affects skin homeostasis by influencing cell differentiation, migration and adhesion; also, wound healing is altered in δ-opioid receptor knockout mice (DOPr–/–). Hence, we investigated δ-opioid receptor effects on the expression of several proteins of the desmosomal junction complex and on the migratory behaviour of keratinocytes. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Expression levels of desmosomal cadherins in wild-type and DOPr–/– mice, and the morphology of intercellular adhesion in human keratinocytes were analysed by immunofluorescence. To investigate the δ-opioid receptor activation pathway, protein expression was studied using Western blot and its effect on cellular migration determined by in vitro live cell migration recordings from human keratinocytes. KEY RESULTS Expression of the desmosomal cadherins, desmogleins 1 and 4, was up-regulated in skin from DOPr–/– mice, and down-regulated in δ-opioid receptor-overexpressing human keratinocytes. The localization of desmoplakin expression was rearranged from linear arrays emanating from cell borders to puncta in cell periphery, resulting in less stable intercellular adhesion. Migration and wound recovery were enhanced in human keratinocyte monolayers overexpressing δ-opioid receptors in vitro. These δ-opioid receptor effects were antagonized by specific PKCα/β inhibition indicating they were mediated through the PKC signalling pathway. Finally, cells overexpressing δ-opioid receptors developed characteristically long but undirected protrusions containing filamentous actin and δ-opioid receptors, indicating an enhanced migratory phenotype. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS Opioid receptors affect intercellular adhesion and wound healing mechanisms, underlining the importance of a cutaneous neuroendocrine system in wound healing and skin homeostasis. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on

  4. Intrinsic Relative Activities of Opioid Agonists in Activating Gα proteins and Internalizing Receptor: Differences between Human and Mouse Receptors

    PubMed Central

    DiMattio, Kelly M.; Ehlert, Frederick J.; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Several investigators recently identified biased opioid receptor (KOP receptor) agonists. However, no comprehensive study of the functional selectivity of available KOP receptor agonists at the human and mouse KOP receptors (hKOP receptor and mKOP receptor, respectively) has been published. Here we examined the ability of over 20 KOP receptor agonists to activate G proteins and to internalize the receptor. Clonal neuro-2a mouse neuroblastoma (N2a) cells stably transfected with the hKOP receptor or mKOP receptor were used. We employed agonist-induced [35S]GTPγS binding and KOP receptor internalization as measures of activation of G protein and β-arrestin pathways, respectively. The method of Ehlert and colleagues was used to quantify intrinsic relative activities at G protein activation (RAi−G) and receptor internalization (RAi−I) and the degree of functional selectivity between the two [Log RAi−G − Log RAi−I, RAi−G/RAi−I and bias factor]. The parameter, RAi, represents a relative estimate of agonist affinity for the active receptor state that elicits a given response. The endogenous ligand dynorphin A (1–17) was designated as the balanced ligand with a bias factor of 1. Interestingly, we found that there were species differences in functional selectivity. The most striking differences were for 12-epi-salvinorin A, U69,593, and ICI-199,441. 12-Epi-salvinorin A was highly internalization-biased at the mKOP receptor, but apparently G protein-biased at hKOP receptor. U69,593 was much more internalization-biased at mKOP receptor than hKOP receptor. ICI199,441 showed internalization-biased at the mKOP receptor and G protein-biased at the hKOP receptor. Possible mechanisms for the observed species differences are discussed. PMID:26057692

  5. Synthetic studies of neoclerodane diterpenes from Salvia divinorum: preparation and opioid receptor activity of salvinicin analogues.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Denise S; Katavic, Peter L; Lozama, Anthony; Harding, Wayne W; Parrish, Damon; Deschamps, Jeffrey R; Dersch, Christina M; Partilla, John S; Rothman, Richard B; Navarro, Hernan; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2007-07-26

    Further modification of salvinorin A (1a), the major active component of Salvia divinorum, has resulted in the synthesis of novel neoclerodane diterpenes with opioid receptor affinity and activity. We report in this study that oxadiazole 11a and salvidivin A (12a), a photooxygenation product of 1a, have been identified as the first neoclerodane diterpenes with kappa antagonist activity. This indicates that additional structural modifications of 1a may lead to analogues with higher potency and utility as drug abuse medications.

  6. Ligands Raise the Constraint That Limits Constitutive Activation in G Protein-coupled Opioid Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Vezzi, Vanessa; Onaran, H. Ongun; Molinari, Paola; Guerrini, Remo; Balboni, Gianfranco; Calò, Girolamo; Costa, Tommaso

    2013-01-01

    Using a cell-free bioluminescence resonance energy transfer strategy we compared the levels of spontaneous and ligand-induced receptor-G protein coupling in δ (DOP) and μ (MOP) opioid receptors. In this assay GDP can suppress spontaneous coupling, thus allowing its quantification. The level of constitutive activity was 4–5 times greater at the DOP than at the MOP receptor. A series of opioid analogues with a common peptidomimetic scaffold displayed remarkable inversions of efficacy in the two receptors. Agonists that enhanced coupling above the low intrinsic level of the MOP receptor were inverse agonists in reducing the greater level of constitutive coupling of the DOP receptor. Yet the intrinsic activities of such ligands are identical when scaled over the GDP base line of both receptors. This pattern is in conflict with the predictions of the ternary complex model and the “two state” extensions. According to this theory, the order of spontaneous and ligand-induced coupling cannot be reversed if a shift of the equilibrium between active and inactive forms raises constitutive activation in one receptor type. We propose that constitutive activation results from a lessened intrinsic barrier that restrains spontaneous coupling. Any ligand, regardless of its efficacy, must enhance this constraint to stabilize the ligand-bound complexed form. PMID:23836900

  7. Ligands raise the constraint that limits constitutive activation in G protein-coupled opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Vezzi, Vanessa; Onaran, H Ongun; Molinari, Paola; Guerrini, Remo; Balboni, Gianfranco; Calò, Girolamo; Costa, Tommaso

    2013-08-16

    Using a cell-free bioluminescence resonance energy transfer strategy we compared the levels of spontaneous and ligand-induced receptor-G protein coupling in δ (DOP) and μ (MOP) opioid receptors. In this assay GDP can suppress spontaneous coupling, thus allowing its quantification. The level of constitutive activity was 4-5 times greater at the DOP than at the MOP receptor. A series of opioid analogues with a common peptidomimetic scaffold displayed remarkable inversions of efficacy in the two receptors. Agonists that enhanced coupling above the low intrinsic level of the MOP receptor were inverse agonists in reducing the greater level of constitutive coupling of the DOP receptor. Yet the intrinsic activities of such ligands are identical when scaled over the GDP base line of both receptors. This pattern is in conflict with the predictions of the ternary complex model and the "two state" extensions. According to this theory, the order of spontaneous and ligand-induced coupling cannot be reversed if a shift of the equilibrium between active and inactive forms raises constitutive activation in one receptor type. We propose that constitutive activation results from a lessened intrinsic barrier that restrains spontaneous coupling. Any ligand, regardless of its efficacy, must enhance this constraint to stabilize the ligand-bound complexed form.

  8. Opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract

    PubMed Central

    Holzer, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Opium is arguably one of the oldest herbal medicines, being used as analgesic, sedative and antidiarrheal drug for thousands of years. These effects mirror the actions of the endogenous opioid system and are mediated by the principal μ-, κ- and δ-opioid receptors. In the gut, met-enkephalin, leu-enkephalin, β-endorphin and dynorphin occur in both neurons and endocrine cells. When released, opioid peptides activate opioid receptors on the enteric circuitry controlling motility and secretion. As a result, inhibition of gastric emptying, increase in sphincter tone, induction of stationary motor patterns and blockade of peristalsis ensue. Together with inhibition of ion and fluid secretion, these effects cause constipation, one of the most frequent and troublesome adverse reactions of opioid analgesic therapy. Although laxatives are most frequently used to ameliorate opioid-induced bowel dysfunction, their efficacy is unsatisfactory. Specific antagonism of peripheral opioid receptors is a more rational approach. This goal is addressed by the use of opioid receptor antagonists with limited absorption such as oral prolonged-release naloxone and opioid receptor antagonists that do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier such as methylnaltrexone and alvimopan. Preliminary evidence indicates that peripherally restricted opioid receptor antagonists may act as prokinetic drugs in their own right. PMID:19345246

  9. Activation of mu-opioid receptors in the ventrolateral orbital cortex inhibits the GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in rats.

    PubMed

    Qu, Chao-Ling; Huo, Fu-Quan; Huang, Fen-Sheng; Tang, Jing-Shi

    2015-04-10

    Previous studies have indicated that mu-opioid receptors in the ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) are involved in antinociception in tail flick tests and GABAergic neurons or terminals express mu-opioid receptors in the VLO. The current study examined the effect of selective mu-opioid receptor agonist DAMGO on the GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) in the VLO in rats using the whole-cell patch clamp. The results demonstrated that 5 μM DAMGO application into the rat VLO slices significantly reduced the GABAergic mIPSCs frequency, without any effect on its amplitude, and this effect of DAMGO was reversed by pretreatment with selective mu-opioid receptor antagonist 1 μM CTOP. Importantly, application of CTOP alone into the VLO slices did not produce any effect on the frequency and amplitude of GABAergic mIPSCs. These results indicate a presynaptic effect of mu-opioid receptor activation on the GABAergic neurons in the VLO. The current data suggests that a presynaptic inhibition of the GABA release may contribute to the mu-opioid receptor mediated effects in the VLO and provides novel electrophysiological evidence for the underlying mechanisms of mu-opioid receptors in the VLO.

  10. Current Research on Opioid Receptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yuan; He, Xiaozhou; Yang, Yilin; Chao, Dongman; Lazarus, Lawrence H.; Xia, Ying

    2012-01-01

    The use of opioid analgesics has a long history in clinical settings, although the comprehensive action of opioid receptors is still less understood. Nonetheless, recent studies have generated fresh insights into opioid receptor-mediated functions and their underlying mechanisms. Three major opioid receptors (μ-opioid receptor, MOR; δ-opioid receptor, DOR; and κ-opioid receptor, KOR) have been cloned in many species. Each opioid receptor is functionally sub-classified into several pharmacological subtypes, although, specific gene corresponding each of these receptor subtypes is still unidentified as only a single gene has been isolated for each opioid receptor. In addition to pain modulation and addiction, opioid receptors are widely involved in various physiological and pathophysiological activities, including the regulation of membrane ionic homeostasis, cell proliferation, emotional response, epileptic seizures, immune function, feeding, obesity, respiratory and cardiovascular control as well as some neurodegenerative disorders. In some species, they play an essential role in hibernation. One of the most exciting findings of the past decade is the opioid-receptor, especially DOR, mediated neuroprotection and cardioprotection. The up-regulation of DOR expression and DOR activation increase the neuronal tolerance to hypoxic/ischemic stress. The DOR signal triggers (depending on stress duration and severity) different mechanisms at multiple levels to preserve neuronal survival, including the stabilization of homeostasis and increased pro-survival signaling (e.g., PKC-ERK-Bcl 2) and anti-oxidative capacity. In the heart, PKC and KATP channels are involved in the opioid receptor-mediated cardioprotection. The DOR-mediated neuroprotection and cardioprotection have the potential to significantly alter the clinical pharmacology in terms of prevention and treatment of life-threatening conditions like stroke and myocardial infarction. The main purpose of this article

  11. Kappa Opioid Receptor-Induced Aversion Requires p38 MAPK Activation in VTA Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ehrich, Jonathan M.; Messinger, Daniel I.; Knakal, Cerise R.; Kuhar, Jamie R.; Schattauer, Selena S.; Bruchas, Michael R.; Zweifel, Larry S.; Kieffer, Brigitte L.; Phillips, Paul E.M.

    2015-01-01

    The endogenous dynorphin-κ opioid receptor (KOR) system encodes the dysphoric component of the stress response and controls the risk of depression-like and addiction behaviors; however, the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms are not understood. In this study, we report that KOR activation of p38α MAPK in ventral tegmental (VTA) dopaminergic neurons was required for conditioned place aversion (CPA) in mice. Conditional genetic deletion of floxed KOR or floxed p38α MAPK by Cre recombinase expression in dopaminergic neurons blocked place aversion to the KOR agonist U50,488. Selective viral rescue by wild-type KOR expression in dopaminergic neurons of KOR−/− mice restored U50,488-CPA, whereas expression of a mutated form of KOR that could not initiate p38α MAPK activation did not. Surprisingly, while p38α MAPK inactivation blocked U50,488-CPA, p38α MAPK was not required for KOR inhibition of evoked dopamine release measured by fast scan cyclic voltammetry in the nucleus accumbens. In contrast, KOR activation acutely inhibited VTA dopaminergic neuron firing, and repeated exposure attenuated the opioid response. This adaptation to repeated exposure was blocked by conditional deletion of p38α MAPK, which also blocked KOR-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the inwardly rectifying potassium channel (GIRK) subunit Kir3.1 in VTA dopaminergic neurons. Consistent with the reduced response, GIRK phosphorylation at this amino terminal tyrosine residue (Y12) enhances channel deactivation. Thus, contrary to prevailing expectations, these results suggest that κ opioid-induced aversion requires regulation of VTA dopaminergic neuron somatic excitability through a p38α MAPK effect on GIRK deactivation kinetics rather than by presynaptically inhibiting dopamine release. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonists have the potential to be effective, nonaddictive analgesics, but their therapeutic utility is greatly limited by adverse effects on mood

  12. Dezocine exhibits antihypersensitivity activities in neuropathy through spinal μ-opioid receptor activation and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yong-Xiang; Mao, Xiao-Fang; Li, Teng-Fei; Gong, Nian; Zhang, Ma-Zhong

    2017-01-01

    Dezocine is the number one opioid painkiller prescribed and sold in China, occupying 44% of the nation’s opioid analgesics market today and far ahead of the gold-standard morphine. We discovered the mechanisms underlying dezocine antihypersensitivity activity and assessed their implications to antihypersensitivity tolerance. Dezocine, given subcutaneously in spinal nerve-ligated neuropathic rats, time- and dose-dependently produced mechanical antiallodynia and thermal antihyperalgesia, significantly increased ipsilateral spinal norepinephrine and serotonin levels, and induced less antiallodynic tolerance than morphine. Its mechanical antiallodynia was partially (40% or 60%) and completely (100%) attenuated by spinal μ-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonism or norepinephrine depletion/α2-adrenoceptor antagonism and combined antagonism of MORs and α2-adenoceptors, respectively. In contrast, antagonism of spinal κ-opioid receptors (KORs) and δ-opioid receptors (DORs) or depletion of spinal serotonin did not significantly alter dezocine antiallodynia. In addition, dezocine-delayed antiallodynic tolerance was accelerated by spinal norepinephrine depletion/α2-adenoceptor antagonism. Thus dezocine produces antihypersensitivity activity through spinal MOR activation and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition (NRI), but apparently not through spinal KOR and DOR activation, serotonin reuptake inhibition or other mechanisms. Our findings reclassify dezocine as the first analgesic of the recently proposed MOR-NRI, and reveal its potential as an alternative to as well as concurrent use with morphine in treating pain. PMID:28230181

  13. Dezocine exhibits antihypersensitivity activities in neuropathy through spinal μ-opioid receptor activation and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong-Xiang; Mao, Xiao-Fang; Li, Teng-Fei; Gong, Nian; Zhang, Ma-Zhong

    2017-02-23

    Dezocine is the number one opioid painkiller prescribed and sold in China, occupying 44% of the nation's opioid analgesics market today and far ahead of the gold-standard morphine. We discovered the mechanisms underlying dezocine antihypersensitivity activity and assessed their implications to antihypersensitivity tolerance. Dezocine, given subcutaneously in spinal nerve-ligated neuropathic rats, time- and dose-dependently produced mechanical antiallodynia and thermal antihyperalgesia, significantly increased ipsilateral spinal norepinephrine and serotonin levels, and induced less antiallodynic tolerance than morphine. Its mechanical antiallodynia was partially (40% or 60%) and completely (100%) attenuated by spinal μ-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonism or norepinephrine depletion/α2-adrenoceptor antagonism and combined antagonism of MORs and α2-adenoceptors, respectively. In contrast, antagonism of spinal κ-opioid receptors (KORs) and δ-opioid receptors (DORs) or depletion of spinal serotonin did not significantly alter dezocine antiallodynia. In addition, dezocine-delayed antiallodynic tolerance was accelerated by spinal norepinephrine depletion/α2-adenoceptor antagonism. Thus dezocine produces antihypersensitivity activity through spinal MOR activation and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition (NRI), but apparently not through spinal KOR and DOR activation, serotonin reuptake inhibition or other mechanisms. Our findings reclassify dezocine as the first analgesic of the recently proposed MOR-NRI, and reveal its potential as an alternative to as well as concurrent use with morphine in treating pain.

  14. In vivo visualization of delta opioid receptors upon physiological activation uncovers a distinct internalization profile

    PubMed Central

    FAGET, Lauren; ERBS, Eric; LE MERRER, Julie; SCHERRER, Gregory; MATIFAS, Audrey; BENTURQUIA, Nadia; NOBLE, Florence; DECOSSAS, Marion; KOCH, Marc; KESSLER, Pascal; VONESCH, Jean-Luc; SCHWAB, Yannick; KIEFFER, Brigitte L.; MASSOTTE, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate numerous physiological functions and represent prime therapeutic targets. Receptor trafficking upon agonist stimulation is critical for GPCR function, but examining this process in vivo remains a true challenge. Using knock-in mice expressing functional fluorescent delta opioid receptors under the control of the endogenous promoter, we visualized in vivo internalization of this native GPCR upon physiological stimulation. We developed a paradigm in which animals were made dependent to morphine in a drug-paired context. When re-exposed to this context in a drug-free state, mice showed context-dependent withdrawal signs and activation of the hippocampus. Receptor internalization was transiently detected in a subset of CA1 neurons, uncovering regionally restricted opioid peptide release. Importantly, a pool of surface receptors always remained, which contrasts with the in vivo profile previously established for exogenous drug-induced internalization. Therefore, a distinct response is observed at the receptor level upon a physiological or pharmacological stimulation. Altogether, direct in vivo GPCR visualization enables mapping receptor stimulation promoted by a behavioral challenge, and represents a powerful approach to study endogenous GPCR physiology. PMID:22623675

  15. In vivo visualization of delta opioid receptors upon physiological activation uncovers a distinct internalization profile.

    PubMed

    Faget, Lauren; Erbs, Eric; Le Merrer, Julie; Scherrer, Gregory; Matifas, Audrey; Benturquia, Nadia; Noble, Florence; Decossas, Marion; Koch, Marc; Kessler, Pascal; Vonesch, Jean-Luc; Schwab, Yannick; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Massotte, Dominique

    2012-05-23

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate numerous physiological functions and represent prime therapeutic targets. Receptor trafficking upon agonist stimulation is critical for GPCR function, but examining this process in vivo remains a true challenge. Using knock-in mice expressing functional fluorescent delta opioid receptors under the control of the endogenous promoter, we visualized in vivo internalization of this native GPCR upon physiological stimulation. We developed a paradigm in which animals were made dependent on morphine in a drug-paired context. When re-exposed to this context in a drug-free state, mice showed context-dependent withdrawal signs and activation of the hippocampus. Receptor internalization was transiently detected in a subset of CA1 neurons, uncovering regionally restricted opioid peptide release. Importantly, a pool of surface receptors always remained, which contrasts with the in vivo profile previously established for exogenous drug-induced internalization. Therefore, a distinct response is observed at the receptor level upon a physiological or pharmacological stimulation. Altogether, direct in vivo GPCR visualization enables mapping receptor stimulation promoted by a behavioral challenge and represents a powerful approach to study endogenous GPCR physiology.

  16. Activation of μ-opioid receptor and Toll-like receptor 4 by plasma from morphine-treated mice.

    PubMed

    Xie, Nan; Gomes, Fabio P; Deora, Vandana; Gregory, Kye; Vithanage, Tharindu; Nassar, Zeyad D; Cabot, Peter J; Sturgess, David; Shaw, Paul N; Parat, Marie-Odile

    2017-03-01

    In this study, we quantified the ability of opioids present in biological samples to activate the μ-opioid receptor and TLR4 using cell-based assays. Each assay was standardised, in the presence of plasma, using morphine, its μ receptor-active metabolite morphine-6 glucuronide (M6G) and its μ receptor-inactive, but TLR4-active metabolite morphine-3 glucuronide (M3G). Specificity was verified using antagonists. Morphine- and M6G-spiked plasma samples exhibited μ receptor activation, which M3G-spiked plasma lacked. In contrast, M3G showed moderate but consistent activation of TLR-4. Plasma samples were collected at a number of time points from mice administered morphine (1 or 10mg/kg every 12h for 3days) or saline. Morphine administration led to intermittent μ receptor activation, reversed by μ receptor antagonists, and to TRL4 activation at time points where M3G is measured in plasma. Interestingly, this protocol of morphine administration also led to TLR4-independent NF-κB activation, at time points where M3G was not detected, presumably via elevation of circulating cytokines including, but not limited to, TNFα. Circulating TNFα was increased after three days of morphine administration, and TNFα mRNA elevated in the spleen of morphine-treated mice.

  17. A novel, potent, oral active and safe antinociceptive pyrazole targeting kappa opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Trevisan, Gabriela; Rossato, Mateus F; Walker, Cristiani I B; Oliveira, Sara M; Rosa, Fernanda; Tonello, Raquel; Silva, Cássia R; Machado, Pablo; Boligon, Aline A; Martins, Marcos A P; Zanatta, Nilo; Bonacorso, Hélio G; Athayde, Margareth L; Rubin, Maribel A; Calixto, João B; Ferreira, Juliano

    2013-10-01

    Pyrazole compounds are an intriguing class of compounds with potential analgesic activity; however, their mechanism of action remains unknown. Thus, the goal of this study was to explore the antinociceptive potential, safety and mechanism of action of novel 1-pyrazole methyl ester derivatives, which were designed by molecular simplification, using in vivo and in vitro methods in mice. First, tree 1-pyrazole methyl ester derivatives (DMPE, MPFE, and MPCIE) were tested in the capsaicin test and all presented antinociceptive effect; however the MPClE (methyl 5-trichloromethyl-3-methyl-1H-pyrazole-1-carboxylate) was the most effective. Thus, we selected this compound to assess the effects and mechanisms in subsequent pain models. MPCIE produced antinociception when administered by oral, intraperitoneal, intrathecal and intraplantar routes and was effective in the capsaicin and the acetic acid-induced nociception tests. Moreover, this compound reduced the hyperalgesia in diverse clinically-relevant pain models, including postoperative, inflammatory, and neuropathic nociception in mice. The antinociception produced by orally administered MPClE was mediated by κ-opioid receptors, since these effects were prevented by systemically pre-treatment with naloxone and the κ-opioid receptor antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. Moreover, MPCIE prevented binding of the κ-opioid ligand [(3)H]-CI-977 in vitro (IC₅₀ of 0.68 (0.32-1.4) μM), but not the TRPV1 ([(3)H]-resiniferatoxin) or the α₂-adrenoreceptor ([(3)H]-idazoxan) binding. Regarding the drug-induced side effects, oral administration of MPClE did not produce sedation, constipation or motor impairment at its active dose. In addition, MPCIE was readily absorbed after oral administration. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MPClE is a novel, potent, orally active and safe analgesic drug that targets κ-opioid receptors.

  18. Novel endomorphin analogues with antagonist activity at the mu-opioid receptor in the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Fichna, Jakub; Gach, Katarzyna; Perlikowska, Renata; Cravezic, Aurore; Bonnet, Jean Jacques; do-Rego, Jean-Claude; Janecka, Anna; Storr, Martin A

    2010-06-08

    Opioid bowel dysfunction (OBD) summarizes common adverse side effects of opiate-based management of pain. A promising therapeutic approach to prevent OBD and other opioid-related disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the co-administration of opiates with peripherally-restricted mu-opioid receptor (MOR)-selective antagonists. The aim of this study was to investigate the selectivity and efficacy of three novel peptide antagonists: antanal-1, antanal-2, and antanal-2A at MOR in the GI tract in vitro and in vivo. The effects of the antanals on GI motility were studied in vitro, using isolated preparations of mouse ileum and colon and in vivo, by measuring colonic propulsion in mice. Additionally, in vitro stability against enzymatic degradation and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability using the hot plate test in mice were examined. The antanals significantly reduced the inhibitory effect of the MOR agonists endomorphin-2, morphine, and loperamide on mouse ileum and colon contractions in vitro and blocked morphine-induced decrease of colonic bead expulsion in vivo. The hot plate test in mice showed that the antagonist activity of all antanals was restricted to the periphery. Antanal-1, antanal-2, and antanal-2A are promising MOR antagonists with limited BBB permeability, which may be developed into future therapeutics of opioid-related GI dysfunction.

  19. Morphine withdrawal enhances constitutive μ-opioid receptor activity in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Meye, Frank J; van Zessen, Ruud; Smidt, Marten P; Adan, Roger A H; Ramakers, Geert M J

    2012-11-14

    μ-Opioid receptors (MORs) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are pivotally involved in addictive behavior. While MORs are typically activated by opioids, they can also become constitutively active in the absence of any agonist. In the current study, we present evidence that MOR constitutive activity is highly relevant in the mouse VTA, as it regulates GABAergic input to dopamine neurons. Specifically, suppression of MOR constitutive activity with the inverse agonist KC-2-009 enhanced GABAergic neurotransmission onto VTA dopamine neurons. This inverse agonistic effect was fully blocked by the specific MOR neutral antagonist CTOP, which had no effect on GABAergic transmission itself. We next show that withdrawal from chronic morphine further increases the magnitude of inverse agonistic effects at the MOR, suggesting enhanced MOR constitutive activity. We demonstrate that this increase can be an adaptive response to the detrimental elevation in cAMP levels known to occur during morphine withdrawal. These findings offer important insights in the physiological occurrence and function of MOR constitutive activity, and have important implications for therapeutic strategies aimed at normalizing MOR signaling during addiction and opioid overdose.

  20. Effect of Iboga Alkaloids on µ-Opioid Receptor-Coupled G Protein Activation

    PubMed Central

    Antonio, Tamara; Childers, Steven R.; Rothman, Richard B.; Dersch, Christina M.; King, Christine; Kuehne, Martin; Bornmann, William G.; Eshleman, Amy J.; Janowsky, Aaron; Simon, Eric R.; Reith, Maarten E. A.; Alper, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    Objective The iboga alkaloids are a class of small molecules defined structurally on the basis of a common ibogamine skeleton, some of which modify opioid withdrawal and drug self-administration in humans and preclinical models. These compounds may represent an innovative approach to neurobiological investigation and development of addiction pharmacotherapy. In particular, the use of the prototypic iboga alkaloid ibogaine for opioid detoxification in humans raises the question of whether its effect is mediated by an opioid agonist action, or if it represents alternative and possibly novel mechanism of action. The aim of this study was to independently replicate and extend evidence regarding the activation of μ-opioid receptor (MOR)-related G proteins by iboga alkaloids. Methods Ibogaine, its major metabolite noribogaine, and 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC), a synthetic congener, were evaluated by agonist-stimulated guanosine-5´-O-(γ-thio)-triphosphate ([35S]GTPγS) binding in cells overexpressing the recombinant MOR, in rat thalamic membranes, and autoradiography in rat brain slices. Results And Significance In rat thalamic membranes ibogaine, noribogaine and 18-MC were MOR antagonists with functional Ke values ranging from 3 uM (ibogaine) to 13 uM (noribogaine and 18MC). Noribogaine and 18-MC did not stimulate [35S]GTPγS binding in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing human or rat MORs, and had only limited partial agonist effects in human embryonic kidney cells expressing mouse MORs. Ibogaine did not did not stimulate [35S]GTPγS binding in any MOR expressing cells. Noribogaine did not stimulate [35S]GTPγS binding in brain slices using autoradiography. An MOR agonist action does not appear to account for the effect of these iboga alkaloids on opioid withdrawal. Taken together with existing evidence that their mechanism of action also differs from that of other non-opioids with clinical effects on opioid tolerance and withdrawal, these findings suggest a

  1. Delta-Opioid Receptor Analgesia Is Independent of Microglial Activation in a Rat Model of Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Rojewska, Ewelina; Makuch, Wioletta; Starowicz, Katarzyna; Przewlocka, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The analgesic effect of delta-opioid receptor (DOR) ligands in neuropathic pain is not diminished in contrast to other opioid receptor ligands, which lose their effectiveness as analgesics. In this study, we examine whether this effect is related to nerve injury-induced microglial activation. We therefore investigated the influence of minocycline-induced inhibition of microglial activation on the analgesic effects of opioid receptor agonists: morphine, DAMGO, U50,488H, DPDPE, Deltorphin II and SNC80 after chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve in rats. Pre-emptive and repeated administration of minocycline (30 mg/kg, i.p.) over 7 days significantly reduced allodynia and hyperalgesia as measured on day 7 after CCI. The antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of intrathecally (i.t.) administered morphine (10–20 µg), DAMGO (1–2 µg) and U50,488H (25–50 µg) were significantly potentiated in rats after minocycline, but no such changes were observed after DPDPE (10–20 µg), deltorphin II (1.5–15 µg) and SNC80 (10–20 µg) administration. Additionally, nerve injury-induced down-regulation of all types of opioid receptors in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia was not influenced by minocycline, which indicates that the effects of opioid ligands are dependent on other changes, presumably neuroimmune interactions. Our study of rat primary microglial cell culture using qRT-PCR, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry confirmed the presence of mu-opioid receptors (MOR) and kappa-opioid receptors (KOR), further we provide the first evidence for the lack of DOR on microglial cells. In summary, DOR analgesia is different from analgesia induced by MOR and KOR receptors because it does not dependent on injury-induced microglial activation. DOR agonists appear to be the best candidates for new drugs to treat neuropathic pain. PMID:25105291

  2. Delta-opioid receptor analgesia is independent of microglial activation in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Mika, Joanna; Popiolek-Barczyk, Katarzyna; Rojewska, Ewelina; Makuch, Wioletta; Starowicz, Katarzyna; Przewlocka, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The analgesic effect of delta-opioid receptor (DOR) ligands in neuropathic pain is not diminished in contrast to other opioid receptor ligands, which lose their effectiveness as analgesics. In this study, we examine whether this effect is related to nerve injury-induced microglial activation. We therefore investigated the influence of minocycline-induced inhibition of microglial activation on the analgesic effects of opioid receptor agonists: morphine, DAMGO, U50,488H, DPDPE, Deltorphin II and SNC80 after chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve in rats. Pre-emptive and repeated administration of minocycline (30 mg/kg, i.p.) over 7 days significantly reduced allodynia and hyperalgesia as measured on day 7 after CCI. The antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of intrathecally (i.t.) administered morphine (10-20 µg), DAMGO (1-2 µg) and U50,488H (25-50 µg) were significantly potentiated in rats after minocycline, but no such changes were observed after DPDPE (10-20 µg), deltorphin II (1.5-15 µg) and SNC80 (10-20 µg) administration. Additionally, nerve injury-induced down-regulation of all types of opioid receptors in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia was not influenced by minocycline, which indicates that the effects of opioid ligands are dependent on other changes, presumably neuroimmune interactions. Our study of rat primary microglial cell culture using qRT-PCR, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry confirmed the presence of mu-opioid receptors (MOR) and kappa-opioid receptors (KOR), further we provide the first evidence for the lack of DOR on microglial cells. In summary, DOR analgesia is different from analgesia induced by MOR and KOR receptors because it does not dependent on injury-induced microglial activation. DOR agonists appear to be the best candidates for new drugs to treat neuropathic pain.

  3. Activation of μ opioid receptors in the LPBN facilitates sodium intake in rats.

    PubMed

    Pavan, Carolina G; Roncari, Camila F; Barbosa, Silas P; De Paula, Patrícia M; Colombari, Débora S A; De Luca, Laurival A; Colombari, Eduardo; Menani, José V

    2015-07-15

    Important inhibitory mechanisms for the control of water and sodium intake are present in the lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN). Opioid receptors are expressed by LPBN neurons and injections of β-endorphin (nonspecific opioid receptor agonist) in this area induce 0.3M NaCl and water intake in satiated rats. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the injections of endomorphin-1 (μ opioid receptor agonist) alone or combined with the blockade of μ, κ or δ opioid receptors into the LPBN on 0.3M NaCl and water intake induced by subcutaneous injections of the diuretic furosemide (FURO) combined with low dose of the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril (CAP). Male Holtzman rats with stainless steel cannulas implanted bilaterally in the LPBN were used. Bilateral injections of endomorphin-1 (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0nmol/0.2μl) into the LPBN increased 0.3M NaCl and water intake induced by FURO+CAP. The previous blockade of μ opioid receptor with CTAP (1.0nmol/0.2μl) into the LPBN reduced the effect of endomorphin-1 on FURO+CAP-induced 0.3M NaCl. GNTI (κ opioid receptor antagonist; 2.0nmol/0.2μl) and naltrindole (δ opioid receptor antagonist; 2.0nmol/0.2μl) injected into the LPBN did not change the effects of endomorphin-1 on FURO+CAP-induced 0.3M NaCl. The results suggest that μ opioid receptors in the LPBN are involved in the control of sodium intake.

  4. Splice variation of the mu-opioid receptor and its effect on the action of opioids.

    PubMed

    Gretton, Sophy K; Droney, Joanne

    2014-11-01

    An individual's response to opioids is influenced by a complex combination of genetic, molecular and phenotypic factors.Intra- and inter-individual variations in response to mu opioids have led to the suggestion that mu-opioid receptor subtypes exist.Scientists have now proven that mu-opioid receptor subtypes exist and that they occur through a mechanism promoting protein diversity, called alternative splicing.The ability of mu opioids to differentially activate splice variants may explain some of the clinical differences observed between mu opioids.This article examines how differential activation of splice variants by mu opioids occurs through alternative mu-opioid receptor binding, through differential receptor activation, and as a result of the distinct distribution of variants located regionally and at the cellular level.

  5. Activation of mu opioid receptors in the striatum differentially augments methamphetamine-induced gene expression and enhances stereotypic behavior.

    PubMed

    Horner, Kristen A; Hebbard, John C; Logan, Anna S; Vanchipurakel, Golda A; Gilbert, Yamiece E

    2012-03-01

    Mu opioid receptors are densely expressed in the patch compartment of striatum and contribute to methamphetamine-induced patch-enhanced gene expression and stereotypy. To further elucidate the role of mu opioid receptor activation in these phenomena, we examined whether activation of mu opioid receptors would enhance methamphetamine-induced stereotypy and prodynorphin, c-fos, arc and zif/268 expression in the patch and/or matrix compartments of striatum, as well as the impact of mu opioid receptor activation on the relationship between patch-enhanced gene expression and stereotypy. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were intrastriatally infused with d-Ala(2)-N-Me-Phe(4),Gly(5)-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO; 1 μg/μL), treated with methamphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) and killed at 45 min or 2 h later. DAMGO augmented methamphetamine-induced zif/268 mRNA expression in the patch and matrix compartments, while prodynorphin expression was increased in the dorsolateral patch compartment. DAMGO pre-treatment did not affect methamphetamine-induced arc and c-fos expression. DAMGO enhanced methamphetamine-induced stereotypy and resulted in greater patch versus matrix expression of prodynorphin in the dorsolateral striatum, leading to a negative correlation between the two. These findings indicate that mu opioid receptors contribute to methamphetamine-induced stereotypy, but can differentially influence the genomic responses to methamphetamine. These data also suggest that prodynorphin may offset the overstimulation of striatal neurons by methamphetamine.

  6. Chronic heroin self-administration desensitizes mu opioid receptor-activated G-proteins in specific regions of rat brain.

    PubMed

    Sim-Selley, L J; Selley, D E; Vogt, L J; Childers, S R; Martin, T J

    2000-06-15

    In previous studies from our laboratory, chronic noncontingent morphine administration decreased mu opioid receptor-activated G-proteins in specific brainstem nuclei. In the present study, mu opioid receptor binding and receptor-activated G-proteins were examined after chronic heroin self-administration. Rats were trained to self-administer intravenous heroin for up to 39 d, achieving heroin intake up to 366 mg. kg(-1). d(-1). mu opioid-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS and [(3)H]naloxone autoradiography were performed in adjacent brain sections. Agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS autoradiography also examined other G-protein-coupled receptors, including delta opioid, ORL-1, GABA(B), adenosine A(1), cannabinoid, and 5-HT(1A). In brains from heroin self-administering rats, decreased mu opioid-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding was observed in periaqueductal gray, locus coeruleus, lateral parabrachial nucleus, and commissural nucleus tractus solitarius, as previously observed in chronic morphine-treated animals. In addition, decreased mu opioid-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding was found in thalamus and amygdala after heroin self-administration. Despite this decrease in mu-activated G-proteins, [(3)H]naloxone binding demonstrated increased mu opioid receptor binding in several brain regions after heroin self-administration, and there was a significant decrease in mu receptor G-protein efficiency as expressed as a ratio between agonist-activated G-proteins and mu receptor binding. No effects on agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding were found for any other receptor examined. The effect of chronic heroin self-administration to decrease mu-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding varied between regions and was highest in brainstem and lowest in the cortex and striatum. These results not only provide potential neuronal mechanisms that may contribute to opioid tolerance and dependence, but also may explain why various chronic effects of opioids develop to different degrees.

  7. Activation of Peripheral κ-Opioid Receptors Normalizes Caffeine Effects Modified in Nicotine-Dependent Rats during Nicotine Withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Sudakov, S K; Bogdanova, N G

    2016-10-01

    The study examined the effect of peripheral (intragastric) ICI-204,448, an agonist of gastric κ-opioid receptors, on the psychostimulating and anxiolytic effects of caffeine in nicotinedependent rats at the stage of nicotine withdrawal. In these rats, the effects of caffeine (10 mg/kg) were perverted. In nicotine-dependent rats, caffeine produced an anxiolytic effect accompanied by pronounced stimulation of motor activity, in contrast to anxiogenic effect induced by caffeine in intact rats without nicotine dependence. During nicotine withdrawal, nicotine-dependent rats demonstrated enhanced sensitivity to nicotine. Intragastric administration of κ-opioid receptor agonist ICI-204,448 normalized the effect of caffeine in nicotinedependent rats. We have previously demonstrated that activation of peripheral κ-opioid receptors inhibited central κ-opioid activity and eliminated manifestations of nicotine withdrawal syndrome in nicotine-dependent rats, e.g. metabolism activation, stimulation of motor activity, and enhancement of food consumption. In its turn, inhibition of central κ-opioid structures activates the brain adenosine system, which can attenuate the caffeine-induced effects in nicotine-dependent rats.

  8. Collybolide is a novel biased agonist of κ-opioid receptors with potent antipruritic activity

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Achla; Gomes, Ivone; Bobeck, Erin N.; Fakira, Amanda K.; Massaro, Nicholas P.; Sharma, Indrajeet; Cavé, Adrien; Hamm, Heidi E.; Parello, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Among the opioid receptors, the κ-opioid receptor (κOR) has been gaining considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of complex CNS disorders including depression, visceral pain, and cocaine addiction. With an interest in discovering novel ligands targeting κOR, we searched natural products for unusual scaffolds and identified collybolide (Colly), a nonnitrogenous sesquiterpene from the mushroom Collybia maculata. This compound has a furyl-δ-lactone core similar to that of Salvinorin A (Sal A), another natural product from the plant Salvia divinorum. Characterization of the molecular pharmacological properties reveals that Colly, like Sal A, is a highly potent and selective κOR agonist. However, the two compounds differ in certain signaling and behavioral properties. Colly exhibits 10- to 50-fold higher potency in activating the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway compared with Sal A. Taken with the fact that the two compounds are equipotent for inhibiting adenylyl cyclase activity, these results suggest that Colly behaves as a biased agonist of κOR. Behavioral studies also support the biased agonistic activity of Colly in that it exhibits ∼10-fold higher potency in blocking non–histamine-mediated itch compared with Sal A, and this difference is not seen in pain attenuation by these two compounds. These results represent a rare example of functional selectivity by two natural products that act on the same receptor. The biased agonistic activity, along with an easily modifiable structure compared with Sal A, makes Colly an ideal candidate for the development of novel therapeutics targeting κOR with reduced side effects. PMID:27162327

  9. Synthesis, opioid receptor binding, and functional activity of 5'-substituted 17-cyclopropylmethylpyrido[2',3':6,7]morphinans.

    PubMed

    Ananthan, Subramaniam; Kezar, Hollis S; Saini, Surendra K; Khare, Naveen K; Davis, Peg; Dersch, Christina M; Porreca, Frank; Rothman, Richard B

    2003-02-10

    A series of naltrexone-derived pyridomorphinans possessing various substituents at the 5'-position on the pyridine ring were synthesized and evaluated for opioid receptor binding in rodent brain membranes and functional activity in smooth muscle preparations. While the introduction of aromatic 1-pyrrolyl group (6h) improved the delta affinity and delta antagonist potency of the parent compound (3), the introduction of guanidine group (6i) transformed it to a kappa selective ligand in opioid receptor binding and [35S]GTP-gamma-S functional assays.

  10. µ-Opioid receptor activation by tramadol and O-desmethyltramadol (M1).

    PubMed

    Minami, Kouichiro; Sudo, Yuka; Miyano, Kanako; Murphy, Robert S; Uezono, Yasuhito

    2015-06-01

    Tramadol has been used as an analgesic for several decades. µ-Opioid receptors (µORs) are the major receptors that mediate the analgesic effects of opioids. Although µORs have been thought to be one of the sites of action of tramadol, there has been no report that directly proves whether tramadol is an agonist of μOR or not. In this study, we examined the effects of tramadol and its main active metabolite O-desmethyltramadol (M1), on the function of µORs using Xenopus oocytes expressing cloned human µORs. The effects of tramadol and M1 were evaluated using the Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) current assay method for G(i/o)-protein-coupled receptors by using a µOR fused to G(qi5) (µOR-G(qi5)) in Xenopus oocytes. DAMGO [(D-Ala(2), N-MePhe(4), Gly(5)-ol)-enkephalin] evoked Cl(-) currents in oocytes expressing µOR-G(qi5) in a concentration-dependent manner. Tramadol and M1 also evoked Cl(-) currents in the oocytes expressing µOR-G(qi5); however, relatively higher concentrations (compared to DMAGO) were necessary to induce such currents. Tramadol and M1 had a direct effect on µORs expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Although the monoamine uptake system and several types of ligand-gated ion channels are thought to be one of the targets for tramadol, tramadol-induced antinociception may be mediated at least in part, by the direct activation of µORs.

  11. Pharmacological characterization of an opioid receptor in the ciliate Tetrahymena.

    PubMed

    Chiesa, R; Silva, W I; Renaud, F L

    1993-01-01

    A pharmacological characterization has been performed of the opioid receptor involved in modulation of phagocytosis in the protozoan ciliate Tetrahymena. Studies on inhibition of phagocytosis by mammalian prototypic opioid agonists revealed that morphine and beta-endorphin have the highest intrinsic activity, whereas all the other opioids tested can only be considered partial agonists. However, morphine (a mu-receptor agonist) is twice as potent as beta-endorphin (a delta-receptor agonist). Furthermore, the sensitivity for the opioid antagonist naloxone, determined in the presence of morphine and beta-endorphin, is very similar to the sensitivity exhibited by mammalian tissues rich in mu-opioid receptors. We suggest that the opioid receptor coupled to phagocytosis in Tetrahymena is mu-like in some of its pharmacological characteristics and may serve as a model system for studies on opioid receptor function and evolution.

  12. Pharmacological properties of novel cyclic pentapeptides with µ-opioid receptor agonist activity.

    PubMed

    Perlikowska, Renata; Piekielna, Justyna; Fichna, Jakub; do-Rego, Jean Claude; Toth, Geza; Janecki, Tomasz; Janecka, Anna

    2014-03-01

    In our previous paper we have reported the synthesis and biological activity of a cyclic analog, Tyr-c(D-Lys- Phe-Phe-Asp)-NH2, based on endomorphin-2 (EM-2) structure. This analog displayed high affinity for the µ-opioid receptor, was much more stable than EM-2 in rat brain homogenate and showed remarkable antinociceptive activity after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection. Even more importantly, the cyclic analog elicited weak analgesia also after peripheral administration, giving evidence that it was able to cross, at least to some extent, the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Here we describe further modifications of this analog aimed at enhancing brain delivery by increasing lipophilicity. Two new cyclic pentapeptides, Tyr-c(D-Lys-D-1-Nal-Phe-Asp)-NH2 and Tyr-c(D-Lys-D-2-Nal-Phe-Asp)-NH2 (where 1-Nal=1- naphthyl-3-alanine, 2-Nal=2-naphthyl-3-alanine) were synthesized and evaluated in biological assays. Both analogs showed high µ-opioid receptor affinity and agonist activity and were stable in the rat brain homogenates. Unfortunately, the increase of lipophilicity was achieved at the expense of water solubility. The analog with D-2-Nal residue showed strong analgesic effect when given i.c.v. but could not be tested after intravenous (i.v.) administration where higher concentrations of the compound are required. However, this analog showed inhibitory effect on gastrointestinal (GI) motility in vivo, providing an interesting approach to the development of peripherally restricted agents that could be useful for studying gastrointestinal disorders in animal models.

  13. Kappa opioid receptor activation alleviates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and promotes oligodendrocyte-mediated remyelination.

    PubMed

    Du, Changsheng; Duan, Yanhui; Wei, Wei; Cai, Yingying; Chai, Hui; Lv, Jie; Du, Xiling; Zhu, Jian; Xie, Xin

    2016-04-04

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by autoimmune damage to the central nervous system. All the current drugs for MS target the immune system. Although effective in reducing new lesions, they have limited effects in preventing the progression of disability. Promoting oligodendrocyte-mediated remyelination and recovery of neurons are the new directions of MS therapy. The endogenous opioid system, consisting of MOR, DOR, KOR and their ligands, has been suggested to participate in the pathogenesis of MS. However, the exact receptor and mechanism remain elusive. Here we show that genetic deletion of KOR exacerbates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, whereas activating KOR with agonists alleviates the symptoms. KOR does not affect immune cell differentiation and function. Instead, it promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination both in vitro and in vivo. Our study suggests that targeting KOR might be an intriguing way to develop new MS therapies that may complement the existing immunosuppressive approaches.

  14. Kappa opioid receptor activation decreases inhibitory transmission and antagonizes alcohol effects in rat central amygdala.

    PubMed

    Gilpin, Nicholas W; Roberto, Marisa; Koob, George F; Schweitzer, Paul

    2014-02-01

    Activation of the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system mediates negative emotional states and considerable evidence suggests that KOR and their natural ligand, dynorphin, are involved in ethanol dependence and reward. The central amygdala (CeA) plays a major role in alcohol dependence and reinforcement. Dynorphin peptide and gene expression are activated in the amygdala during acute and chronic administration of alcohol, but the effects of activation or blockade of KOR on inhibitory transmission and ethanol effects have not been studied. We used the slice preparation to investigate the physiological role of KOR and interaction with ethanol on GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Superfusion of dynorphin or U69593 onto CeA neurons decreased evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect prevented by the KOR antagonist norbinaltorphimine (norBNI). Applied alone, norBNI increased GABAergic transmission, revealing a tonic endogenous activity at KOR. Paired-pulse analysis suggested a presynaptic KOR mechanism. Superfusion of ethanol increased IPSPs and pretreatment with KOR agonists diminished the ethanol effect. Surprisingly, the ethanol-induced augmentation of IPSPs was completely obliterated by KOR blockade. Our results reveal an important role of the dynorphin/KOR system in the regulation of inhibitory transmission and mediation of ethanol effects in the CeA.

  15. Repeated activation of delta opioid receptors counteracts nerve injury-induced TNF-α up-regulation in the sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Nunzio; Parenti, Rosalba; Aricò, Giuseppina; Turnaturi, Rita; Scoto, Giovanna Maria; Chiechio, Santina

    2016-01-01

    Despite mu opioid receptor agonists are the cornerstones of moderate-to-severe acute pain treatment, their effectiveness in chronic pain conditions is controversial. In contrast to mu opioid receptor agonists, a number of studies have reported the effectiveness of delta opioid receptor agonists on neuropathic pain strengthening the idea that delta opioid receptors gain importance when chronic pain develops. Among other effects, it has been shown that delta opioid receptor activation in optic nerve astrocytes inhibits tumor necrosis factor-α-mediated inflammation in response to severe hypoxia. Considering the involvement of tumor necrosis factor-α in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, with this study we sought to correlate the effect of delta opioid receptor agonist on the development of mechanical allodynia to tumor necrosis factor-α expression at the site of nerve injury in rats subjected to chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. To this aim, we measured the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α in the sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathic pain after repeated injections with a delta opioid receptor agonist. Results obtained demonstrated that repeated administrations of the delta opioid receptor agonist SNC80 (10 mg/kg, i.p. for seven consecutive days) significantly inhibited the development of mechanical allodynia in rats with neuropathic pain and that the improvement of neuropathic symptom was timely related to the reduced expression of tumor necrosis factor-α in the rat sciatic nerve. We demonstrated also that when treatment with the delta opioid receptor agonist was suspended both allodynia and tumor necrosis factor-α up-regulation in the sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathic pain were restored. These results show that persistent delta opioid receptor activation significantly attenuates neuropathic pain and negatively regulates sciatic nerve tumor necrosis factor-α expression in chronic constriction injury rats. PMID:27590071

  16. Behavioral Consequences of Delta-Opioid Receptor Activation in the Periaqueductal Gray of Morphine Tolerant Rats

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Michael M.; Ashley, Michelle D.; Ingram, Susan L.; Christie, MacDonald J.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic morphine administration shifts delta-opioid receptors (DORs) from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane. Given that microinjection of morphine into the PAG produces antinociception, it is hypothesized that the movement of DORs to the membrane will allow antinociception to the DOR agonist deltorphin II as a way to compensate for morphine tolerance. Tolerance was induced by twice daily injections of morphine (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg, subcutaneous) for 3.5 days. Microinjection of deltorphin into the vPAG 6 hours after the last morphine injection produced a mild antinociception that did not vary in a consistent manner across morphine pretreatment doses or nociceptive tests. In contrast, deltorphin caused a decrease in activity in morphine tolerant rats that was associated with lying in the cage. The decrease in activity and change in behavior indicate that chronic morphine administration alters DORs in the vPAG. However, activation of these receptors does not appear to compensate for the decrease in antinociception caused by morphine tolerance. PMID:19266049

  17. Asymmetric synthesis and in vitro and in vivo activity of tetrahydroquinolines featuring a diverse set of polar substitutions at the 6 position as mixed-efficacy μ opioid receptoropioid receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Bender, Aaron M; Griggs, Nicholas W; Anand, Jessica P; Traynor, John R; Jutkiewicz, Emily M; Mosberg, Henry I

    2015-08-19

    We previously reported a small series of mixed-efficacy μ opioid receptor (MOR) agonist/δ opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist peptidomimetics featuring a tetrahydroquinoline scaffold and showed the promise of this series as effective analgesics after intraperitoneal administration in mice. We report here an expanded structure-activity relationship study of the pendant region of these compounds and focus in particular on the incorporation of heteroatoms into this side chain. These analogues provide new insight into the binding requirements for this scaffold at MOR, DOR, and the κ opioid receptor (KOR), and several of them (10j, 10k, 10m, and 10n) significantly improve upon the overall MOR agonist/DOR antagonist profile of our previous compounds. In vivo data for 10j, 10k, 10m, and 10n are also reported and show the antinociceptive potency and duration of action of compounds 10j and 10m to be comparable to those of morphine.

  18. Discovery of Novel Triazole-Based Opioid Receptor Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qiang; Keenan, Susan M.; Peng, Youyi; Nair, Anil C.; Yu, Seong Jae; Howells, Richard D.; Welsh, William J.

    2009-01-01

    We report the computer-aided design, chemical synthesis, and biological evaluation of a novel family of δ opioid receptor (DOR) antagonists containing a 1,2,4-triazole core structure that are structurally distinct from other known opioid receptor active ligands. Among those δ antagonists sharing this core structure, 8 exhibited strong binding affinity (Ki = 50 nM) for the DOR and appreciable selectivity for δ over μ and opioid receptors (δ/μ = 80; δ/κ > 200). PMID:16821764

  19. The endogenous mu-opioid receptor agonists endomorphins 1 and 2 have novel hypotensive activity in the rabbit.

    PubMed

    Champion, H C; Zadina, J E; Kastin, A J; Hackler, L; Ge, L J; Kadowitz, P J

    1997-06-27

    The endogenous peptides endomorphins 1 and 2 are newly isolated, potent, and selective mu-opioid receptor agonists. In the present study, responses to the endomorphin peptides were investigated in the systemic vascular bed of the rabbit. Endomorphins 1 and 2 induced dose-related decreases in systemic arterial pressure when injected in doses of 1-30 nmol/kg i.v. In terms of relative vasodepressor activity, endomorphins 1 and 2 were similar to the ORL1 receptor ligand, nociceptin (Orphanin FQ), and met-enkephalin in decreasing systemic arterial pressure. Vasodepressor responses to endomorphins 1 and 2 were inhibited by the opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone, in a dose of 2 mg/kg i.v. These results demonstrate that endomorphins 1 and 2 have significant naloxone-sensitive, vasodepressor activity in the rabbit.

  20. Sustained Suppression of Hyperalgesia during Latent Sensitization by μ-, δ-, and κ-opioid receptors and α2A Adrenergic Receptors: Role of Constitutive Activity

    PubMed Central

    Walwyn, Wendy M.; Chen, Wenling; Kim, Hyeyoung; Minasyan, Ani; Ennes, Helena S.; McRoberts, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Many chronic pain disorders alternate between bouts of pain and periods of remission. The latent sensitization model reproduces this in rodents by showing that the apparent recovery (“remission”) from inflammatory or neuropathic pain can be reversed by opioid antagonists. Therefore, this remission represents an opioid receptor-mediated suppression of a sustained hyperalgesic state. To identify the receptors involved, we induced latent sensitization in mice and rats by injecting complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in the hindpaw. In WT mice, responses to mechanical stimulation returned to baseline 3 weeks after CFA. In μ-opioid receptor (MOR) knock-out (KO) mice, responses did not return to baseline but partially recovered from peak hyperalgesia. Antagonists of α2A-adrenergic and δ-opioid receptors reinstated hyperalgesia in WT mice and abolished the partial recovery from hyperalgesia in MOR KO mice. In rats, antagonists of α2A adrenergic and μ-, δ-, and κ-opioid receptors reinstated hyperalgesia during remission from CFA-induced hyperalgesia. Therefore, these four receptors suppress hyperalgesia in latent sensitization. We further demonstrated that suppression of hyperalgesia by MORs was due to their constitutive activity because of the following: (1) CFA-induced hyperalgesia was reinstated by the MOR inverse agonist naltrexone (NTX), but not by its neutral antagonist 6β-naltrexol; (2) pro-enkephalin, pro-opiomelanocortin, and pro-dynorphin KO mice showed recovery from hyperalgesia and reinstatement by NTX; (3) there was no MOR internalization during remission; (4) MORs immunoprecipitated from the spinal cord during remission had increased Ser375 phosphorylation; and (5) electrophysiology recordings from dorsal root ganglion neurons collected during remission showed constitutive MOR inhibition of calcium channels. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Chronic pain causes extreme suffering to millions of people, but its mechanisms remain to be unraveled. Latent

  1. delta-Opioid receptors exhibit high efficiency when activating trimeric G proteins in membrane domains.

    PubMed

    Bourova, Lenka; Kostrnova, Alexandra; Hejnova, Lucie; Moravcova, Zuzana; Moon, Hyo-Eun; Novotny, Jiri; Milligan, Graeme; Svoboda, Petr

    2003-04-01

    Low-density membrane fragments (domains) were separated from the bulk of plasma membranes of human embryonic kidney (HEK)293 cells expressing a delta-opioid (DOP) receptor-Gi1alpha fusion protein by drastic homogenization and flotation on equilibrium sucrose density gradients. The functional activity of trimeric G proteins and capacity of the DOP receptor to stimulate both the fusion protein-linked Gi1alpha and endogenous pertussis-toxin sensitive G proteins was measured as d-Ala2, d-Leu5-enkephalin stimulated high-affinity GTPase or guanosine-5'-[gamma-35S]triphosphate ([35S]GTPgammaS) binding. The maximum d-Ala2-d-Leu5 enkephalin (DADLE)-stimulated GTPase was two times higher in low-density membrane fragments than in bulk of plasma membranes; 58 and 27 pmol/mg/min, respectively. The same difference was obtained for [35S]GTPgammaS binding. Contrarily, the low-density domains contained no more than half the DOP receptor binding sites (Bmax = 6.6 pmol/mg versus 13.6 pmol/mg). Thus, when corrected for expression levels of the receptor, low-density domains exhibited four times higher agonist-stimulated GTPase and [35S]GTPgammaS binding than the bulk plasma membranes. The regulator of G protein signaling RGS1, enhanced further the G protein functional activity but did not remove the difference between domain-bound and plasma membrane pools of G protein. The potency of the agonist in functional studies and the affinity of specific [3H]DADLE binding to the receptor were, however, the same in both types of membranes - EC50 = 4.5 +/- 0.1 x 10(-8) and 3.2 +/- 1.4 x 10(-8) m for GTPase; Kd = 1.2 +/- 0.1 and 1.3 +/- 0.1 nm for [3H]DADLE radioligand binding assay. Similar results were obtained when sodium bicarbonate was used for alkaline isolation of membrane domains. By contrast, detergent-insensitive membrane domains isolated following treatment of cells with Triton X100 exhibited no DADLE-stimulated GTPase or GTPgammaS binding. Functional coupling between the DOP receptor

  2. Immunocytochemical characterization of Delta-opioid and Mu-opioid receptor protein in the bovine pineal gland.

    PubMed

    Phansuwan-Pujito, Pansiri; Ebadi, Manuchair; Govitrapong, Piyarat

    2006-01-01

    Opioidergic innervation has been identified in the mammalian pineal gland. Recently, opioid receptors in bovine pineal glands have been characterized; the activation of these receptors leads to the stimulation of melatonin synthesis. In this study, the precise localization of opioid receptors in bovine pineal glands was determined by an immunohistochemical technique using antibodies raised against delta-opioid and mu-opioid receptors. Immunoreactivity of these two receptors was present at a moderate level in pinealocytes. A double-labeling study has shown that delta-opioid receptors are localized predominantly with mu-opioid receptors in the same pinealocytes. These immunopositive pinealocytes are often located in a group; however, some of them are dispersed individually. In addition, both types of receptors were found in glial cells and processes. A small number of delta-receptor-immunoreactive nerve fibers were observed in the perivascular space and intraparenchyma of the pineal gland. Mu-opioid receptor immunoreactivity was found in a number of nerve fibers throughout the gland, and in terminal-like dots on pinealocytes. There was immunocolocalization between delta-opioid receptors or mu-opioid receptors and leu-enkephalin in some nerve fibers. The results of this study indicate that the modulatory effect of the opioid system on melatonin secretion in pineal glands might act via opioid receptors on pinealocytes, whereas receptors located on nerve fibers might modulate the release of opioid peptides.

  3. Mu and Delta opioid receptors activate the same G proteins in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells

    PubMed Central

    Alt, A; Clark, M J; Woods, J H; Traynor, J R

    2002-01-01

    There is evidence for interactions between mu and delta opioid systems both in vitro and in vivo. This work examines the hypothesis that interaction between these two receptors can occur intracellularly at the level of G protein in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.The [35S]GTPγS binding assay was used to measure G protein activation following agonist occupation of opioid receptors. The agonists DAMGO (EC50, 45 nM) and SNC80 (EC50, 32 nM) were found to be completely selective for stimulation of [35S]-GTPγS binding through mu and delta opioid receptors respectively. Maximal stimulation of [35S]-GTPγS binding produced by SNC80 was 57% of that seen with DAMGO. When combined with a maximally effective concentration of DAMGO, SNC80 caused no additional [35S]-GTPγS binding. This effect was also seen when measured at the level of adenylyl cyclase.Receptor activation increased the dissociation of pre-bound [35S]-GTPγS. In addition, the delta agonist SNC80 promoted the dissociation of [35S]-GTPγS from G proteins initially labelled using the mu agonist DAMGO. Conversely, DAMGO promoted the dissociation of [35S]-GTPγS from G proteins initially labelled using SNC80.Tolerance to DAMGO and SNC80 in membranes from cells exposed to agonist for 18 h was homologous and there was no evidence for alteration in G protein activity.The findings support the hypothesis that mu- and delta-opioid receptors share a common G protein pool, possibly through a close organization of the two receptors and G protein at the plasma membrane. PMID:11786497

  4. [Opioid receptors of the CNS: function, structure and distribution].

    PubMed

    Slamberová, R

    2004-01-01

    Even though the alkaloids of opium, such as morphine and codeine, were isolated at the beginning of 19th century, the opioid receptors were not determined until 1970's. The discovery of endogenous opioid peptides, such as endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins, has helped to differentiate between the specific opioid receptor subtypes, mu, delta and kappa, that are used up to now. Opioid receptors are distributed in the central nervous system unevenly. Each receptor subtype has its own specific and nonspecific agonists and antagonists. Opioides, as exogenous opioid receptor agonists, are drugs that are often used in medicine for their analgesic effects, but they are also some of the most heavily abused drugs in the world. Opioides may also induce long-term changes in the numbers and binding activities of opioid receptors. Some of our studies in fact demonstrate that prenatal morphine exposure can alter opioid receptors of adult rats. This may begin to provide insight into the sources of some of the morphological and behavioral changes in the progeny of mothers that received or abused opioides during pregnancy.

  5. Chronic Kappa opioid receptor activation modulates NR2B: Implication in treatment resistant depression

    PubMed Central

    Dogra, Shalini; Kumar, Ajeet; Umrao, Deepmala; Sahasrabuddhe, Amogh A.; Yadav, Prem N.

    2016-01-01

    Psychotomimetic and prodepressive effect by kappa opioid receptor (KOR) activation in rodents and human is widely known. Significantly, recent clinical investigations demonstrated the salutary effects of KOR antagonists in patients with treatment resistant depression, indicating essential role of KOR signaling in refractory depression. This study was undertaken to reveal the molecular determinant of KOR mediated depression and antidepressant response of KOR antagonist. We observed that chronic KOR activation by U50488, a selective KOR agonist, significantly increased depression like symptoms (behavioral despair, anhedonia and sociability) in C57BL/6J mice, which were blocked by KOR antagonist norBNI and antidepressant imipramine, but not by fluoxetine or citalopram. Further, chronic KOR activation increased phosphorylation of NR2B subunit of NMDA at tyrosine 1472 (pNR2B NMDA) in the hippocampus, but not in the cortex. Similar to behavioral effects norBNI and imipramine, but not SSRIs, blocked NR2B phosphorylation. Moreover, KOR induced depression like behaviors were reversed by NR2B selective inhibitor Ro 25-6981. Mechanistic studies in primary cultured neurons and brain tissues using genetic and pharmacological approaches revealed that stimulation of KOR modulates several molecular correlates of depression. Thus, these findings elucidate molecular mechanism of KOR signaling in treatment resistant depression like behaviors in mice. PMID:27634008

  6. Structure-Activity Relationships of the Peptide Kappa Opioid Receptor Antagonist Zyklophin

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Anand A.; Murray, Thomas F.; Aldrich, Jane V.

    2016-01-01

    The dynorphin (Dyn) A analog zyklophin ([N-benzyl-Tyr1-cyclo(D-Asp5,Dap8)]dynorphin A(1-11)NH2) is a kappa opioid receptor (KOR) selective antagonist in vitro, is active in vivo and antagonizes KOR in the CNS after systemic administration. Hence, we synthesized zyklophin analogs to explore the structure-activity relationships of this peptide. The synthesis of selected analogs required modification to introduce the N-terminal amino acid due to poor solubility and/or to avoid epimerization of this residue. Among the N-terminal modifications the N-phenethyl and the N-cyclopropylmethyl substitutions resulted in the analogs with the highest KOR affinities. Pharmacological results for the alanine-substituted analogs indicated that Phe4 and Arg6, but interestingly not the Tyr1, phenol are important for zyklophin’s KOR affinity, and Arg7 was important for KOR antagonist activity. In the GTPγS assay while all of the cyclic analogs exhibited negligible KOR efficacy, the N-phenethyl-Tyr1, N-CPM-Tyr1 and the N-benzyl-Phe1 analogs were 8- to 24-fold more potent KOR antagonists than zyklophin. PMID:26491810

  7. Leukocyte opioid receptors mediate analgesia via Ca(2+)-regulated release of opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Celik, Melih Ö; Labuz, Dominika; Henning, Karen; Busch-Dienstfertig, Melanie; Gaveriaux-Ruff, Claire; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Zimmer, Andreas; Machelska, Halina

    2016-10-01

    Opioids are the most powerful analgesics. As pain is driven by sensory transmission and opioid receptors couple to inhibitory G proteins, according to the classical concept, opioids alleviate pain by activating receptors on neurons and blocking the release of excitatory mediators (e.g., substance P). Here we show that analgesia can be mediated by opioid receptors in immune cells. We propose that activation of leukocyte opioid receptors leads to the secretion of opioid peptides Met-enkephalin, β-endorphin and dynorphin A (1-17), which subsequently act at local neuronal receptors, to relieve pain. In a mouse model of neuropathic pain induced by a chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve, exogenous agonists of δ-, μ- and κ-opioid receptors injected at the damaged nerve infiltrated by opioid peptide- and receptor-expressing leukocytes, produced analgesia, as assessed with von Frey filaments. The analgesia was attenuated by pharmacological or genetic inactivation of opioid peptides, and by leukocyte depletion. This decrease in analgesia was restored by the transfer of wild-type, but not opioid receptor-lacking leukocytes. Ex vivo, exogenous opioids triggered secretion of opioid peptides from wild-type immune cells isolated from damaged nerves, which was diminished by blockade of Gαi/o or Gβγ (but not Gαs) proteins, by chelator of intracellular (but not extracellular) Ca(2+), by blockers of phospholipase C (PLC) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptors, and was partially attenuated by protein kinase C inhibitor. Similarly, the leukocyte depletion-induced decrease in exogenous opioid analgesia was re-established by transfer of immune cells ex vivo pretreated with extracellular Ca(2+) chelator, but was unaltered by leukocytes pretreated with intracellular Ca(2+) chelator or blockers of Gαi/o and Gβγ proteins. Thus, both ex vivo opioid peptide release and in vivo analgesia were mediated by leukocyte opioid receptors coupled to the G

  8. The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution. PMID:19273128

  9. Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist and Brain Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Chunhua, Chen; Chunhua, Xi; Megumi, Sugita; Renyu, Liu

    2014-01-01

    Opioid receptors, especially Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) play an important role in the pathophysiological process of cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury. Previously accepted KOR agonists activity has included anti-nociception, cardiovascular, anti-pruritic, diuretic, and antitussive effects, while compelling evidence from various ischemic animal models indicate that KOR agonist have neuroprotective effects through various mechanisms. In this review, we aimed to demonstrate the property of KOR agonist and its role in global and focal cerebral ischemia. Based on current preclinical research, the KOR agonists may be useful as a neuroprotective agent. The recent discovery of salvinorin A, highly selective non-opioid KOR agonist, offers a new tool to study the role of KOR in brain HI injury and the protective effects of KOR agonist. The unique pharmacological profile of salvinorin A along with the long history of human usage provides its high candidacy as a potential alternative medication for brain HI injury. PMID:25574482

  10. delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol excites rat VTA dopamine neurons through activation of cannabinoid CB1 but not opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    French, E D

    1997-05-02

    Behavioral, biochemical and recent electrophysiological data have increasingly implicated the involvement of dopamine in the central actions of cannabinoid compounds. However, the site and mechanism by which cannabinoids stimulate dopamine systems has been somewhat controversial. Central opioid systems have also been suggested to play a role in some cannabinoid-induced behaviors as evidenced by their attenuation in the presence of the opioid antagonist naloxone. However, recent studies using the cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A suggest that the central actions of psychoactive cannabinoids are mediated principally through activation of CB1 receptors. Using single cell electrophysiological recordings in the rat we assessed the effects of both SR141716A and naloxone on delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced activation of ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. While dopamine cell firing was dose-dependently increased following cumulative dosing with delta9-THC it was partially or completely inhibited following pretreatment with 0.5 and 2 mg/kg SR141716A, respectively. However, 1 and 10 mg/kg naloxone failed to alter the response to delta9-THC. These data provide the first evidence that delta9-THC-induced changes in mesolimbic dopamine neuronal activity are mediated by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but a causal link for the involvement of opioid systems could not be established.

  11. Racemic Salsolinol and its Enantiomers Act as Agonists of the μ-Opioid Receptor by Activating the Gi Protein-Adenylate Cyclase Pathway.

    PubMed

    Berríos-Cárcamo, Pablo; Quintanilla, María E; Herrera-Marschitz, Mario; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Zapata-Torres, Gerald; Rivera-Meza, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several studies have shown that the ethanol-derived metabolite salsolinol (SAL) can activate the mesolimbic system, suggesting that SAL is the active molecule mediating the rewarding effects of ethanol. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that SAL exerts its action on neuron excitability through a mechanism involving opioid neurotransmission. However, there is no direct pharmacologic evidence showing that SAL activates opioid receptors. Methods: The ability of racemic (R/S)-SAL, and its stereoisomers (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL, to activate the μ-opioid receptor was tested in cell-based (light-emitting) receptor assays. To further characterizing the interaction of SAL stereoisomers with the μ-opioid receptor, a molecular docking study was performed using the crystal structure of the μ-opioid receptor. Results: This study shows that SAL activates the μ-opioid receptor by the classical G protein-adenylate cyclase pathway with an half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) of 2 × 10(-5) M. The agonist action of SAL was fully blocked by the μ-opioid antagonist naltrexone. The EC50 for the purified stereoisomers (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL were 6 × 10(-4) M and 9 × 10(-6) M respectively. It was found that the action of racemic SAL on the μ-opioid receptor did not promote the recruitment of β-arrestin. Molecular docking studies showed that the interaction of (R)- and (S)-SAL with the μ-opioid receptor is similar to that predicted for the agonist morphine. Conclusions: It is shown that (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL are agonists of the μ-opioid receptor. (S)-SAL is a more potent agonist than the (R)-SAL stereoisomer. In silico analysis predicts a morphine-like interaction between (R)- and (S)-SAL with the μ-opioid receptor. These results suggest that an opioid action of SAL or its enantiomers is involved in the rewarding effects of ethanol.

  12. Racemic Salsolinol and its Enantiomers Act as Agonists of the μ-Opioid Receptor by Activating the Gi Protein-Adenylate Cyclase Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Berríos-Cárcamo, Pablo; Quintanilla, María E.; Herrera-Marschitz, Mario; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Zapata-Torres, Gerald; Rivera-Meza, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Background: Several studies have shown that the ethanol-derived metabolite salsolinol (SAL) can activate the mesolimbic system, suggesting that SAL is the active molecule mediating the rewarding effects of ethanol. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that SAL exerts its action on neuron excitability through a mechanism involving opioid neurotransmission. However, there is no direct pharmacologic evidence showing that SAL activates opioid receptors. Methods: The ability of racemic (R/S)-SAL, and its stereoisomers (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL, to activate the μ-opioid receptor was tested in cell-based (light-emitting) receptor assays. To further characterizing the interaction of SAL stereoisomers with the μ-opioid receptor, a molecular docking study was performed using the crystal structure of the μ-opioid receptor. Results: This study shows that SAL activates the μ-opioid receptor by the classical G protein-adenylate cyclase pathway with an half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) of 2 × 10−5 M. The agonist action of SAL was fully blocked by the μ-opioid antagonist naltrexone. The EC50 for the purified stereoisomers (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL were 6 × 10−4 M and 9 × 10−6 M respectively. It was found that the action of racemic SAL on the μ-opioid receptor did not promote the recruitment of β-arrestin. Molecular docking studies showed that the interaction of (R)- and (S)-SAL with the μ-opioid receptor is similar to that predicted for the agonist morphine. Conclusions: It is shown that (R)-SAL and (S)-SAL are agonists of the μ-opioid receptor. (S)-SAL is a more potent agonist than the (R)-SAL stereoisomer. In silico analysis predicts a morphine-like interaction between (R)- and (S)-SAL with the μ-opioid receptor. These results suggest that an opioid action of SAL or its enantiomers is involved in the rewarding effects of ethanol. PMID:28167903

  13. {delta}-Opioid receptor-stimulated Akt signaling in neuroblastoma x glioma (NG108-15) hybrid cells involves receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated PI3K activation

    SciTech Connect

    Heiss, Anika; Ammer, Hermann; Eisinger, Daniela A.

    2009-07-15

    {delta}-Opioid receptor (DOR) agonists possess cytoprotective properties, an effect associated with activation of the 'pro-survival' kinase Akt. Here we delineate the signal transduction pathway by which opioids induce Akt activation in neuroblastoma x glioma (NG108-15) hybrid cells. Exposure of the cells to both [D-Pen{sup 2,5}]enkephalin and etorphine resulted in a time- and dose-dependent increase in Akt activity, as measured by means of an activation-specific antibody recognizing phosphoserine-473. DOR-mediated Akt signaling is blocked by the opioid antagonist naloxone and involves inhibitory G{sub i/o} proteins, because pre-treatment with pertussis toxin, but not over-expression of the G{sub q/11} scavengers EBP50 and GRK2-K220R, prevented this effect. Further studies with Wortmannin and LY294002 revealed that phophoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) plays a central role in opioid-induced Akt activation. Opioids stimulate Akt activity through transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK), because pre-treatment of the cells with inhibitors for neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases (AG879) and the insulin-like growth factor receptor IGF-1 (AG1024), but not over-expression of the G{beta}{gamma} scavenger phosducin, abolished this effect. Activated Akt translocates to the nuclear membrane, where it promotes GSK3 phosphorylation and prevents caspase-3 cleavage, two key events mediating inhibition of cell apoptosis and enhancement of cell survival. Taken together, these results demonstrate that in NG108-15 hybrid cells DOR agonists possess cytoprotective properties mediated by activation of the RTK/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

  14. Enkephalin release promotes homeostatic increases in constitutively active mu opioid receptors during morphine withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Shoblock, J R; Maidment, N T

    2007-11-09

    We previously demonstrated that naloxone administration produces a robust conditioned place aversion (CPA) in opiate-naive rodents by blocking the action of enkephalins at mu opioid receptors (MORs). The aversive response to naloxone is potentiated by prior exposure to morphine. Morphine-induced MOR constitutive activity is hypothesized to underlie this enhanced effect of naloxone, an inverse agonist at the MOR. We sought additional evidence for the role of constitutively active MORs in this morphine-induced enhancement using the pro-enkephalin knockout (pENK(-)/(-)) mouse, which is devoid of naloxone CPA in the morphine-naive state. Naloxone, but not the neutral antagonist, 6-beta-naloxol, produced CPA and physical withdrawal signs in pENK(-)/(-) mice when administered 2 h, but not 20 h, after morphine administration. Naloxone-precipitated physical withdrawal signs were attenuated in the pENK(-)/(-) mice relative to wild-type (WT) animals. In both WT and pENK(-)/(-) mice, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal jumping was greatest when naloxone was administered 2 h after morphine treatment and diminished at 3 h, in agreement with previous estimates of the time course for morphine-induced MOR constitutive activity in vitro. However, naloxone regained an ability to precipitate physical withdrawal in the WT, but not the pENK(-)/(-) mice when administered 4.5 h after morphine administration. Taken together, the data suggest that a compensatory increase in enkephalin release during spontaneous morphine withdrawal promotes a second period of MOR constitutive activity in WT mice that is responsible for the enhanced naloxone aversion observed in such animals even when naloxone is administered 20 h after morphine. The endogenous enkephalin system and MOR constitutive activity may therefore play vital roles in hedonic homeostatic dysregulation following chronic opiate administration.

  15. The crystal structure of a bimorphinan with highly selective kappa opioid receptor antagonist activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbańczyk-Lipkowska, Zofia; Etter, Margaret C.; Lipkowski, Andrzej W.; Portoghese, Philip S.

    1987-07-01

    The crystal structure of the dihydrobromide heptahydrate of nor-binaltorphimine (17, 17'-bis(cyclopropylmethyl)-6,6',7,7'-tetrahydro-4,5α: 4',5'α-diepoxy-6,6'-imino[7,7' bimorphinan]-3,3',14,14'-tetraol)is presented. This structure is the first reported structure of a rigid bivalent opioid ligand. Two morphinan pharmacophores are connected by a rigid spacer, the pyrrole ring. The nor-binaltorphimine structure itself shows unique, high selectivity as a kappa opioid receptor antagonist. Crystal data: P3 2, Z = 3, a = b = 20.223 (4), c = 9.541(7) Å, α = β = 90°, γ = 120°; R = 0.079 (1765 reflections, Fobs > 1σ( F)).

  16. Activation of κ opioid receptors increases intrinsic excitability of dentate gyrus granule cells

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Carmel M; Schrader, Laura A

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is thought to control information flow into the rest of the hippocampus. Under pathological conditions, such as epilepsy, this protective feature is circumvented and uninhibited activity flows throughout the hippocampus. Many factors can modulate excitability of the dentate gyrus and ultimately, the hippocampus. It is therefore of critical importance to understand the mechanisms involved in regulating excitability in the dentate gyrus. Dynorphin, the endogenous ligand for the kappa (κ) opioid receptor (KOR), is thought to be involved in neuromodulation in the dentate gyrus. Both dynorphin and its receptor are widely expressed in the dentate gyrus and have been implicated in epilepsy and other complex behaviours such as stress-induced deficits in learning and stress-induced depression-like behaviours. Administration of KOR agonists can prevent both the behavioural and electroencephalographic measures of seizures in several different models of epilepsy. Antagonism of the KORs also prevents stress-induced behaviours. This evidence suggests the KORs as possible therapeutic targets for various pathological conditions. In addition, KOR agonists prevent the induction of LTP. Although there are several mechanisms through which dynorphin could mediate these effects, no studies to date investigated the effects of KOR activation on intrinsic membrane properties and cell excitability. We used whole-cell, patch-clamp recordings from acute mouse hippocampus slices to investigate the effect of KOR activation on dentate gyrus granule cell excitability. The agonist U69,593 (U6, 1 μm) resulted in a lower spike threshold, a decreased latency to first spike, an increased spike half-width, and an overall increase in spike number with current injections ranging from 15 to 45 pA. There was also a reduction in the interspike interval (ISI) both early and late in the spike train, with no change in membrane potential or input resistance

  17. New technologies for elucidating opioid receptor function

    PubMed Central

    Bruchas, Michael R.; Roth, Bryan L.

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in technology, including high resolution crystal structures of opioid receptors, novel chemical tools, and new genetic approaches have provided an unparalleled pallette of tools for deconstructing opioid receptor actions in vitro and in vivo. Here we provide a brief description of our understanding of opioid receptor function from both molecular and atomic perspectives, as well as their role in neural circuits in vivo. We then show how insights into the molecular details of opioid actions can facilitate the creation of functionally-selective (biased) and photoswitchable opioid ligands. Finally, we describe how newly engineered opioid receptor-based chemo- and optogenetic tools, and new mouse lines are expanding and transforming our understanding of opioid function and, perhaps, paving the way for new therapeutics. PMID:26833118

  18. The activation of μ-opioid receptor potentiates LPS-induced NF-kB promoting an inflammatory phenotype in microglia.

    PubMed

    Gessi, Stefania; Borea, Pier Andrea; Bencivenni, Serena; Fazzi, Debora; Varani, Katia; Merighi, Stefania

    2016-09-01

    Increased production of proinflammatory cytokines has a prominent role in tolerance to opioids. The objectives of this study were to examine whether μ-opioid receptor affects proinflammatory signalling through the activation of NF-kB in microglia. The novelty of the described research is that a low dose of morphine, exerting its effects via the μ-opioid receptor, increases the DNA-binding activity of NF-kB via PKCε, while a high dose of morphine triggers a nonopiate receptor response mediated by TLR4 and, interestingly, PKCε signalling. The identification of morphine as a crucial upstream regulator of PKCε-NF-κB signalling in microglia argues for a central role of these pathways in neuroinflammation development and progression. Therefore, the morphine-PKCε-NF-κB pathway may provide novel targets to induce neuroprotective mechanisms, thereby reducing tolerance to opioids.

  19. Molecular simulation of dynorphin A-(1-10) binding to extracellular loop 2 of the kappa-opioid receptor. A model for receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Paterlini, G; Portoghese, P S; Ferguson, D M

    1997-09-26

    The structure of the second extracellular loop region (EL2) of the kappa-opioid receptor has been explored in an effort to understand the structural basis for dynorphin A binding and selectivity. Application of secondary structure prediction methods and homology modeling resulted in a turn-helix motif for the N-terminal region of kappa-EL2. A similar motif was not predicted for EL2 of either delta or mu opioid receptors. The EL2 helix was further shown to be amphiphilic and complementary to the helical component of dynorphin A. Using a model of the kappa-receptor (Metzger et al. Neurochem. Res. 1996, 21, 1287-1294), including the newly predicted EL2 turn-helix domain, a binding mode is proposed based on helix--helix interactions between hydrophobic residues of EL2 and the helical component of dynorphin A-(1-10). Molecular simulations of the receptor--ligand complex yielded structures in which the tyramine moiety or opioid "message" of dynorphin is bound within a conserved aromatic pocket in the transmembrane domain while the helical portion contacted residues in EL2 and in the extracellular end of transmembrane helices 6 and 7. The model is in general agreement with site-directed mutagenesis data and chimera studies that have identified binding domains in both the EL2 and transmembrane regions of dynorphin A. The results confirm the importance of the opioid "message" displayed by many opioid ligands but also suggest a potential mechanism of receptor activation that may be mediated by EL2 through interactions with the "address" component of dynorphin A.

  20. Regional differences in mu and kappa opioid receptor G-protein activation in brain in male and female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Martin, T J; Sexton, T; Kim, S A; Severino, A L; Peters, C M; Young, L J; Childers, S R

    2015-12-17

    Prairie voles are unusual mammals in that, like humans, they are capable of forming socially monogamous pair bonds, display biparental care, and engage in alloparental behaviors. Both mu and kappa opioid receptors are involved in behaviors that either establish and maintain, or result from pair bond formation in these animals. Mu and kappa opioid receptors both utilize inhibitory G-proteins in signal transduction mechanisms, however the efficacy by which these receptor subtypes stimulate G-protein signaling across the prairie vole neuraxis is not known. Utilizing [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiography, we characterized the efficacy of G-protein stimulation in coronal sections throughout male and female prairie vole brains by [D-Ala2,NMe-Phe4,Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO) and U50,488H, selective mu and kappa opioid agonists, respectively. DAMGO stimulation was highest in the forebrain, similar to that found with other rodent species. U-50,488H produced greater stimulation in prairie voles than is typically seen in mice and rats, particularly in select forebrain areas. DAMGO produced higher stimulation in the core versus the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in females, while the distribution of U-50,488H stimulation was the opposite. There were no gender differences for U50,488H stimulation of G-protein activity across the regions examined, while DAMGO stimulation was greater in sections from females compared to those from males for NAc core, entopeduncular nucleus, and hippocampus. These data suggest that the kappa opioid system may be more sensitive to manipulation in prairie voles compared to mice and rats, and that female prairie voles may be more sensitive to mu agonists in select brain regions than males.

  1. Regional Differences in Mu and Kappa Opioid Receptor G-protein Activation in Brain in Male and Female Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Thomas J.; Sexton, Tammy; Kim, Susy A.; Severino, Amie L.; Peters, Christopher M.; Young, Larry J.; Childers, Steven R.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie voles are unusual mammals in that, like humans, they are capable of forming socially monogamous pair bonds, display biparental care, and engage in alloparental behaviors. Both mu and kappa opioid receptors are involved in behaviors that either establish and maintain, or result from pair bond formation in these animals. Mu and kappa opioid receptors both utilize inhibitory G-proteins as signal transduction mechanisms, however the efficacy by which these receptor subtypes stimulate G-protein signaling across the prairie vole neuraxis is not known. Utilizing [35S]GTPγS autoradiography, we characterized the efficacy of G-protein stimulation in coronal sections throughout male and female prairie vole brain by DAMGO and U50,488H, selective mu and kappa opioid agonists, respectively. DAMGO stimulation was highest in forebrain, similar to that found with other rodent species. U-50,488H produced greater stimulation in prairie voles than is typically seen in mice and rats, particularly in select forebrain areas. DAMGO produced higher stimulation in the core versus the shell of the nucleus accumbens in females, while the distribution of U-50,488H stimulation was the opposite. There were no gender differences for U50,488H stimulation of G-protein activity across the regions examined, while DAMGO stimulation was greater in sections from females compared to those from males for nucleus accumbens core, entopeduncular nucleus, and hippocampus. These data suggest that the kappa opioid system may be more sensitive to manipulation in prairie voles compared to mice and rats, and that female prairie voles may be more sensitive to mu agonists in select brain regions than males. PMID:26523979

  2. Stress-induced activation of the dynorphin/κ-opioid receptor system in the amygdala potentiates nicotine conditioned place preference

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeffrey S.; Schindler, Abigail G.; Martinelli, Emma; Gustin, Richard M.; Bruchas, Michael R.; Chavkin, Charles

    2012-01-01

    Many smokers describe the anxiolytic and stress-reducing effects of nicotine, the primary addictive component of tobacco, as a principal motivation for continued drug use. Recent evidence suggests that activation of the stress circuits, including the dynorphin/κ-opioid receptor system, modulates the rewarding effects of addictive drugs. In the present study, we find that nicotine produced dose-dependent conditioned place preference (CPP) in mice. κ-Receptor activation, either by repeated forced swim stress or U50,488 (5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) administration, significantly potentiated the magnitude of nicotine CPP. The increase in nicotine CPP was blocked by the κ-receptor antagonist norBNI either systemically (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or by local injection in the amygdala (2.5 μg) without affecting nicotine reward in the absence of stress. U50,488 (5 mg/kg, i.p.) produced anxiety-like behaviors in the elevated-plus maze and novel object exploration assays, and the anxiety-like behaviors were attenuated both by systemic nicotine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.) and local injection of norBNI into the amygdala. Local norBNI injection in the ventral posterior thalamic nucleus (an adjacent brain region) did not block the potentiation of nicotine CPP or the anxiogenic-like effects of κ-receptor activation. These results suggest that the rewarding effects of nicotine may include a reduction in the stress-induced anxiety responses caused by activation of the dynorphin/κ-opioid system. Together, these data implicate the amygdala as a key region modulating the appetitive properties of nicotine, and suggest that κ-opioid antagonists may be useful therapeutic tools to reduce stress-induced nicotine craving. PMID:22279233

  3. Morphine mediates a proinflammatory phenotype via μ-opioid receptor-PKCɛ-Akt-ERK1/2 signaling pathway in activated microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Merighi, Stefania; Gessi, Stefania; Varani, Katia; Fazzi, Debora; Stefanelli, Angela; Borea, Pier Andrea

    2013-08-15

    Anti-nociceptive tolerance to opioids severely limits their clinical efficacy for the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. Glia has a central role in the development of morphine tolerance. Here, we characterized the receptor-proximal signaling events that link μ-opioid receptors to activation of Akt and ERKs in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated murine microglial cells with the aim to define the molecular mechanism contributing to the ability of morphine to increase inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 in activated microglial cells. In particular, the role of PKCɛ isoform in μ-opioid-induced inflammatory response in microglia was investigated. The results indicate that morphine increases the LPS-induced expression and activation of PKCɛ and stimulates Akt pathway upstream of ERK1/2 and iNOS. Furthermore, we found that morphine enhanced the release of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and of NO via μ-opioid receptor-PKCɛ signaling pathway in activated microglial cells, mediating a proinflammatory phenotype in mouse microglial cells. Together, these data suggest that the modulation of μ-opioid receptor signaling on microglia through PKCɛ selective inhibition may provide a means to attenuate glial activation and, as a consequence, to treat opioid development of tolerance and dependence.

  4. Development of Kappa Opioid Receptor Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, F. Ivy; Carlezon, William A.

    2013-01-01

    Kappa opioid receptors (KORs) belong to the G-protein coupled class of receptors (GPCRs). They are activated by the endogenous opioid peptide dynorphin (DYN) and expressed at particularly high levels within brain areas implicated in modulation of motivation, emotion, and cognitive function. Chronic activation of KORs in animal models has maladaptive effects including increases in behaviors that reflect depression, the propensity to engage in drug-seeking behavior, and drug craving. The fact that KOR activation has such a profound influence on behaviors often triggered by stress has led to interest in selective KOR antagonists as potential therapeutic agents. This perspective provides a description of preclinical research conducted in the development of several different classes of selective KOR antagonists, a summary of the clinical studies conducted thus far, and recommendations for the type of work needed in the future to determine if these agents would be useful as pharmacotherapies for neuropsychiatric illness. PMID:23360448

  5. Blockade of patch-based μ opioid receptors in the striatum attenuates methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference and reduces activation of the patch compartment.

    PubMed

    Horner, Kristen A; Logan, Mary Caroline; Fisher, Trevor J; Logue, Jordan B

    2017-02-05

    The behavioral effects of methamphetamine (METH) are mediated by the striatum, which is divided into the patch compartment, which mediates limbic and reward functions, and the matrix compartment, which mediates sensorimotor tasks. METH treatment results in repetitive behavior that is related to enhanced relative activation of the patch versus the matrix compartment. The patch, but not the matrix compartment contains a high density of μ opioid receptors, and localized blockade of patch-based μ opioid receptors attenuates METH-induced patch-enhanced activity and repetitive behaviors. Numerous studies have examined patch-enhanced activity and the contribution of patch-associated μ opioid receptors to METH-induced repetitive behavior, but it is not known whether patch-enhanced activity occurs during METH-mediated reward, nor is it known if patch-based μ opioid receptors contribute to METH reward. The goals of this study were to determine if blockade of patch-based μ opioid receptors alters METH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), as well activation of the patch and matrix compartments following METH-mediated CPP. A biased conditioning paradigm was used to assess CPP, and conditioning occurred over an 8-d period. Animals were bilaterally infused in the striatum with the μ-specific antagonist CTAP or vehicle prior to conditioning. Animals were tested for preference 24h after the last day of conditioning, sacrificed and the brains processed for immunohistochemistry. Blockade of patch-based μ opioid receptors reduced METH-induced CPP, and reduced patch-enhanced c-Fos expression in the striatum following METH-mediated CPP. These data indicate that patch-enhanced activity is associated with METH-mediated reward and patch-based μ opioid receptors contribute to this phenomenon.

  6. Quantitative Signaling and Structure-Activity Analyses Demonstrate Functional Selectivity at the Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ Opioid Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Steven D.; Mascarella, S. Wayne; Spangler, Skylar M.; Gurevich, Vsevolod V.; Navarro, Hernan A.; Carroll, F. Ivy

    2015-01-01

    Comprehensive studies that consolidate selective ligands, quantitative comparisons of G protein versus arrestin-2/3 coupling, together with structure-activity relationship models for G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) systems are less commonly employed. Here we examine biased signaling at the nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid receptor (NOPR), the most recently identified member of the opioid receptor family. Using real-time, live-cell assays, we identified the signaling profiles of several NOPR-selective ligands in upstream GPCR signaling (G protein and arrestin pathways) to determine their relative transduction coefficients and signaling bias. Complementing this analysis, we designed novel ligands on the basis of NOPR antagonist J-113,397 [(±)-1-[(3R*,4R*)-1-(cyclooctylmethyl)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-4-piperidinyl]-3-ethyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-benzimidazol-2-one] to explore structure-activity relationships. Our study shows that NOPR is capable of biased signaling, and further, the NOPR selective ligands MCOPPB [1-[1-(1-methylcyclooctyl)-4-piperidinyl]-2-(3R)-3-piperidinyl-1H-benzimidazole trihydrochloride] and NNC 63-0532 [8-(1-naphthalenylmethyl)-4-oxo-1-phenyl-1,3,8-triazaspiro[4.5]decane-3-acetic acid, methyl ester] are G protein–biased agonists. Additionally, minor structural modification of J-113,397 can dramatically shift signaling from antagonist to partial agonist activity. We explore these findings with in silico modeling of binding poses. This work is the first to demonstrate functional selectivity and identification of biased ligands at the nociceptin opioid receptor. PMID:26134494

  7. μ-Opioid receptors in the stimulation of mesolimbic dopamine activity by ethanol and morphine in Long-Evans rats: a delayed effect of ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Valenta, John P.; Job, Martin O.; Mangieri, Regina A.; Schier, Christina J.; Howard, Elaina C.; Gonzales, Rueben A.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Naltrexone, a non-selective opioid antagonist, decreases the euphoria and positive subjective responses to alcohol in heavy drinkers. It has been proposed that the μ-opioid receptor plays a role in ethanol reinforcement through modulation of ethanol-stimulated mesolimbic dopamine release. Objective To investigate the ability of naltrexone and β-funaltrexamine, an irreversible μ-opioid specific antagonist, to inhibit ethanol-stimulated and morphine-stimulated mesolimbic dopamine release and to determine whether opioid receptors on mesolimbic neurons contribute to these mechanisms. Methods Ethanol-naïve male Long Evans rats were given opioid receptor antagonists either intravenously, subcutaneously, or intracranially into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), followed by intravenous administration of ethanol or morphine. We measured extracellular dopamine in vivo using microdialysis probes inserted into the nucleus accumbens shell (n=114). Results Administration of naltrexone (intravenously) and β-funaltrexamine (subcutaneously), as well as intracranial injection of naltrexone into the VTA did not prevent the initiation of dopamine release by intravenous ethanol administration, but prevented it from being as prolonged. In contrast, morphine-stimulated mesolimbic dopamine release was effectively suppressed. Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence that there are two distinct mechanisms that mediate ethanol-stimulated mesolimbic dopamine release (an initial phase and a delayed phase), and that opioid receptor activation is required to maintain the delayed-phase dopamine release. Moreover, μ-opioid receptors account for this delayed-phase dopamine response, and the VTA is potentially the site of action of this mechanism. We conclude that μ-opioid receptors play different roles in the mechanisms of stimulation of mesolimbic dopamine activity by ethanol and morphine. PMID:23503684

  8. Opioid receptor trafficking and interaction in nociceptors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, X; Bao, L; Li, S

    2015-01-01

    Opiate analgesics such as morphine are often used for pain therapy. However, antinociceptive tolerance and dependence may develop with long-term use of these drugs. It was found that μ-opioid receptors can interact with δ-opioid receptors, and morphine antinociceptive tolerance can be reduced by blocking δ-opioid receptors. Recent studies have shown that μ- and δ-opioid receptors are co-expressed in a considerable number of small neurons in the dorsal root ganglion. The interaction of μ-opioid receptors with δ-opioid receptors in the nociceptive afferents is facilitated by the stimulus-induced cell-surface expression of δ-opioid receptors, and contributes to morphine tolerance. Further analysis of the molecular, cellular and neural circuit mechanisms that regulate the trafficking and interaction of opioid receptors and related signalling molecules in the pain pathway would help to elucidate the mechanism of opiate analgesia and improve pain therapy. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24611685

  9. Differential opioid agonist regulation of the mouse mu opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Blake, A D; Bot, G; Freeman, J C; Reisine, T

    1997-01-10

    Mu opioid receptors mediate the analgesia induced by morphine. Prolonged use of morphine causes tolerance development and dependence. To investigate the molecular basis of tolerance and dependence, the cloned mouse mu opioid receptor with an amino-terminal epitope tag was stably expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells, and the effects of prolonged opioid agonist treatment on receptor regulation were examined. In HEK 293 cells the expressed mu receptor showed high affinity, specific, saturable binding of radioligands and a pertussis toxin-sensitive inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. Pretreatment (1 h, 3 h, or overnight) of cells with 1 microM morphine or [D-Ala2MePhe4,Gly(ol)5]enkephalin (DAMGO) resulted in no apparent receptor desensitization, as assessed by opioid inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP levels. In contrast, the morphine and DAMGO pretreatments (3 h) resulted in a 3-4-fold compensatory increase in forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation. The opioid agonists methadone and buprenorphine are used in the treatment of addiction because of a markedly lower abuse potential. Pretreatment of mu receptor-expressing HEK 293 cells with methadone or buprenorphine abolished the ability of opioids to inhibit adenylyl cyclase. No compensatory increase in forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation was found with methadone or buprenorphine; these opioids blocked the compensatory effects observed with morphine and DAMGO. Taken together, these results indicate that methadone and buprenorphine interact differently with the mouse mu receptor than either morphine or DAMGO. The ability of methadone and buprenorphine to desensitize the mu receptor and block the compensatory rise in forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation may be an underlying mechanism by which these agents are effective in the treatment of morphine addiction.

  10. Opioid receptors and legal highs: Salvia divinorum and Kratom.

    PubMed

    Babu, Kavita M; McCurdy, Christopher R; Boyer, Edward W

    2008-02-01

    Salvia divinorum and Mitragyna speciosa ("Kratom"), two unscheduled dietary supplements whose active agents are opioid receptor agonists, have discrete psychoactive effects that have contributed to their increasing popularity. Salvia divinorum contains the highly selective kappa- opioid receptor agonist salvinorin A; this compound produces visual hallucinations and synesthesia. Mitragynine, the major alkaloid identified from Kratom, has been reported as a partial opioid agonist producing similar effects to morphine. An interesting minor alkaloid of Kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine, has been reported to be more potent than morphine. Both Kratom alkaloids are reported to activate supraspinal mu- and delta- opioid receptors, explaining their use by chronic narcotics users to ameliorate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Despite their widespread Internet availability, use of Salvia divinorum and Kratom represents an emerging trend that escapes traditional methods of toxicologic monitoring. The purpose of this article is to familiarize toxicologists and poison control specialists with these emerging psychoactive dietary supplements.

  11. Basal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala predicts the inhibition of pain-related brain activity during heterotopic noxious counter-stimulation.

    PubMed

    Piché, Mathieu; Watanabe, Nobuhiro; Sakata, Muneyuki; Oda, Keiichi; Toyohara, Jun; Ishii, Kenji; Ishiwata, Kiichi; Hotta, Harumi

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the magnitude of anti-nociceptive effects induced by heterotopic noxious counter-stimulation (HNCS) and the basal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala. In 8 healthy volunteers (4 females and 4 males), transcutaneous electrical stimulation was applied to the right sural nerve to produce the nociceptive flexion reflex (RIII-reflex), moderate pain, and scalp somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). Immersion of the left hand in cold water for 20min was used as HNCS. In a separate session, basal μ-opioid receptor availability was measured using positron emission tomography with the radiotracer [(11)C]carfentanil. HNCS produced a reduction of the P260 amplitude (p<0.05), a late component of SEP that reflects activity in the anterior cingulate cortex. This reduction was associated with higher basal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala on the right (R(2)=0.55, p=0.03) with a similar trend on the left (R(2)=0.24, p=0.22). Besides, HNCS did not induce significant changes in pain and RIII-reflex amplitude (p>0.05). These results suggest that activation of μ-opioid receptors in the amygdala may contribute to the anti-nociceptive effects of HNCS. The lack of RIII-reflex modulation further suggests that μ-opioid receptor activation in the amygdala contributes to decrease pain-related brain activity through a cerebral mechanism independent of descending modulation.

  12. Peripheral antinociception induced by δ-opioid receptors activation, but not μ- or κ-, is mediated by Ca²⁺-activated Cl⁻ channels.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, Daniela da Fonseca; Pacheco, Cinthia Mara da Fonseca; Duarte, Igor Dimitri Gama

    2012-01-15

    Studies have demonstrated that the L-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway and the potassium and calcium channels are involved in the mechanisms underlying opioid receptor activation. As additional pathways may participate in the observed antinociceptive effects following opioid exposure, the aim of our study was to determine whether Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels (CaCCs) are involved in peripheral antinociception induced by μ-, δ- and κ-opioid receptor activation. Hyperalgesia was induced by intraplantar injection of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2), 2 μg). Nociceptive thresholds to pressure (grams) were measured using an algesimetric apparatus 3h following injection. The μ-opioid receptor agonist morphine (200 μg), δ-opioid receptor agonist (+)-4-[(alphaR)-alpha-((2S,5R)-4-Allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-methoxybenzyl]-N,N-diethylbenzamide (SNC80, 80 μg), κ-opioid receptor agonist bremazocine (50 μg), CaCCs blocker niflumic acid (8-64 μg), CaCCs blocker 5-Nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino) benzoic acid (NPPB, 32-128 μg), nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 500 μg) and cGMP exogenous analogs dibutyryl cGMP (db-cGMP, 100 μg) were also administered into the paw. The CaCCs blocker niflumic acid and NPPB partially reversed the peripheral antinociception induced by exposure to the SNC80 in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, niflumic acid did not modify the antinociceptive effect observed following exposure to morphine or bremazocine. Additionally, the peripheral antinociception induced by the NO donor SNP or by db-cGMP was not inhibited by niflumic acid. These results provide evidence for the involvement of CaCCs in the peripheral antinociception induced by SNC80. CaCCs activation does not appear to be involved when μ- and κ-opioid receptors are activated. In addition, we did not observe a link between CaCCs and the L-arginine/NO/GMPc pathway.

  13. Salvinorin A, an active component of the hallucinogenic sage salvia divinorum is a highly efficacious kappa-opioid receptor agonist: structural and functional considerations.

    PubMed

    Chavkin, Charles; Sud, Sumit; Jin, Wenzhen; Stewart, Jeremy; Zjawiony, Jordan K; Siebert, Daniel J; Toth, Beth Ann; Hufeisen, Sandra J; Roth, Bryan L

    2004-03-01

    The diterpene salvinorin A from Salvia divinorum has recently been reported to be a high-affinity and selective kappa-opioid receptor agonist (Roth et al., 2002). Salvinorin A and selected derivatives were found to be potent and efficacious agonists in several measures of agonist activity using cloned human kappa-opioid receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney-293 cells. Thus, salvinorin A, salvinorinyl-2-propionate, and salvinorinyl-2-heptanoate were found to be either full (salvinorin A) or partial (2-propionate, 2-heptanoate) agonists for inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP production. Additional studies of agonist potency and efficacy of salvinorin A, performed by cotransfecting either the chimeric G proteins Gaq-i5 or the universal G protein Ga16 and quantification of agonist-evoked intracellular calcium mobilization, affirmed that salvinorin A was a potent and effective kappa-opioid agonist. Results from structure-function studies suggested that the nature of the substituent at the 2-position of salvinorin A was critical for kappa-opioid receptor binding and activation. Because issues of receptor reserve complicate estimates of agonist efficacy and potency, we also examined the agonist actions of salvinorin A by measuring potassium conductance through G protein-gated K(+) channels coexpressed in Xenopus oocytes, a system in which receptor reserve is minimal. Salvinorin A was found to be a full agonist, being significantly more efficacious than (trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-cyclohexyl] benzeneacetamide methane-sulfonate hydrate (U50488) or (trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-cyclohexyl] benzeneacetamide methane-sulfonate hydrate (U69593) (two standard kappa-opioid agonists) and similar in efficacy to dynorphin A (the naturally occurring peptide ligand for kappa-opioid receptors). Salvinorin A thus represents the first known naturally occurring non-nitrogenous full agonist at kappa-opioid receptors.

  14. Purification to homogeneity of an active opioid receptor from rat brain by affinity chromatography.

    PubMed

    Loukas, S; Mercouris, M; Panetsos, F; Zioudrou, C

    1994-05-10

    Active opioid binding proteins were solubilized from rat brain membranes in high yield with sodium deoxycholate in the presence of NaCl. Purification of opioid binding proteins was accomplished by opioid antagonist affinity chromatography. Chromatography using the delta-opioid antagonist N,N-diallyl-Tyr-D-Leu-Gly-Tyr-Leu attached to omega-aminododecyl-agarose (Affi-G) (procedure A) yielded a partially purified protein that binds selectively the delta-opioid agonist [3H]Tyr-D-Ser-Gly-Phe-Leu-Thr ([3H]DSLET), with a Kd of 19 +/- 3 nM and a Bmax of 5.1 +/- 0.4 nmol/mg of protein. Subsequently, Lens culinaris agglutinin-Sepharose 4B chromatography of the Affi-G eluate resulted in isolation of an electrophoretically homogeneous protein of 58 kDa that binds selectively [3H]DSLET with a Kd of 21 +/- 3 nM and a Bmax of 16.5 +/- 1.0 nmol/mg of protein. Chromatography using the nonselective antagonist 6-aminonaloxone coupled to 6-aminohexanoic acid-Sepharose 4B (Affi-NAL) (procedure B) resulted in isolation of a protein that binds selectively [3H]DSLET with a Kd of 32 +/- 2 nM and a Bmax of 12.4 +/- 0.5 nmol/mg of protein, and NaDodSO4/PAGE revealed a major band of apparent molecular mass 58 kDa. Polyclonal antibodies (Anti-R IgG) raised against the Affi-NAL protein inhibit the specific [3H]DSLET binding to the Affi-NAL eluate and to the solubilized membranes. Moreover, the Anti-R IgG inhibits the specific binding of radiolabeled Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-N-methyl-Phe-Gly-ol (DAMGO; mu-agonist), DSLET (delta-agonist), and naloxone to homogenates of rat brain membranes with equal potency. Furthermore, immunoaffinity chromatography of solubilized membranes resulted in the retention of a major protein of apparent molecular mass 58 kDa. In addition, immunoblotting of solubilized membranes and purified proteins from the Affi-G and Affi-NAL matrices revealed that the Anti-R IgG interacts with a protein of 58 kDa.

  15. The delta opioid receptor tool box.

    PubMed

    Vicente-Sanchez, Ana; Segura, Laura; Pradhan, Amynah A

    2016-12-03

    In recent years, the delta opioid receptor has attracted increasing interest as a target for the treatment of chronic pain and emotional disorders. Due to their therapeutic potential, numerous tools have been developed to study the delta opioid receptor from both a molecular and a functional perspective. This review summarizes the most commonly available tools, with an emphasis on their use and limitations. Here, we describe (1) the cell-based assays used to study the delta opioid receptor. (2) The features of several delta opioid receptor ligands, including peptide and non-peptide drugs. (3) The existing approaches to detect delta opioid receptors in fixed tissue, and debates that surround these techniques. (4) Behavioral assays used to study the in vivo effects of delta opioid receptor agonists; including locomotor stimulation and convulsions that are induced by some ligands, but not others. (5) The characterization of genetically modified mice used specifically to study the delta opioid receptor. Overall, this review aims to provide a guideline for the use of these tools with the final goal of increasing our understanding of delta opioid receptor physiology.

  16. Using opioid receptors to expand the chemogenetic and optogenetic toolbox.

    PubMed

    Damez-Werno, Diane M; Kenny, Paul J

    2015-05-20

    In this issue of Neuron, innovative new modifications to opioid receptors are used to expand the tools available to modulate neuronal activity. Vardy et al. (2015) describe a new "DREADD" chemogenetic tool based on the inhibitory κ opioid receptor (KORD) that can be used in conjunction with already-available DREADDs. Siuda et al. (2015) report the development of "opto-MOR," a light-activatable μ opioid receptor (MOR) chimera that can be used to better understand the complexities of MOR signaling.

  17. Delta Opioid Receptor and Its Peptide: A Receptor-Ligand Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Staples, Meaghan; Acosta, Sandra; Tajiri, Naoki; Pabon, Mibel; Kaneko, Yuji; Borlongan, Cesar V.

    2013-01-01

    In pursuit of neurological therapies, the opioid system, specifically delta opioid receptors and delta opioid peptides, demonstrates promising therapeutic potential for stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and other degenerative neurological conditions. Recent studies offer strong evidence in support of the therapeutic use of delta opioid receptors, and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of action. Delta opioid receptors have been shown to confer protective effects by mediating ionic homeostasis and activating endogenous neuroprotective pathways. Additionally, delta opioid agonists such as (D-Ala 2, D-Leu 5) enkephalin (DADLE) have been shown to decrease apoptosis and promote neuronal survival. In its entirety, the delta opioid system represents a promising target for neural therapies. PMID:23979422

  18. Epigenetic Activation of μ-Opioid Receptor Gene via Increased Expression and Function of Mitogen- and Stress-Activated Protein Kinase 1.

    PubMed

    Wagley, Yadav; Law, Ping-Yee; Wei, Li-Na; Loh, Horace H

    2017-04-01

    Since the discovery of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) gene two decades ago, various regulatory factors have been shown to interact with the MOR promoter and modulate transcript levels. However, the majority of early transcriptional studies on MOR gene have not addressed how intracellular signaling pathways mediate extracellular modulators. In this study, we demonstrate that MOR epigenetic regulation requires multiple coordinated signals converging at the MOR promoter, involving mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK1)-ranges of intracellular signaling pathways similar to those activated by opioid agonists. Inhibiting p38 MAPK or extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 MAPK (upstream activators of MSK1) reduced MOR expression levels; accordingly, the functional role of MSK1, but not MSK2, was demonstrated using genetic approaches. However, for maximal MSK1 effect, an open chromatin configuration was required, because in vitro CpG methylation of the MOR promoter abolished MSK1 activity. Finally, endogenous MSK1 levels concomitantly increased to regulate MOR gene expression during neuronal differentiation of P19 cells, suggesting a conserved role of this kinase in the epigenic activation of MOR in neurons. Taken together, our findings indicate that the expression of MOR gene requires the activity of intracellular signaling pathways that have been implicated in the behavioral outcomes of opioid drugs, which suggests that an autoregulatory mechanism may function in opioid systems.

  19. Activation of the opioid μ1, but not δ or κ, receptors is required for nicotine reinforcement in a rat model of drug self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiu; Jernigan, Courtney

    2010-01-01

    There has long been an interest in examining the involvement of opioid neurotransmission in nicotine rewarding process and addiction to nicotine. Over the past 3 decades, however, clinical effort to test the effectiveness of nonselective opioid antagonists (mainly naloxone and naltrexone) for smoking cessation has yielded equivocal results. In light of the fact that there are three distinctive types of receptors mediating actions of the endogenous opioid peptides, this study, using a rat model of nicotine self-administration, examined involvement of different opioid receptors in the reinforcement of nicotine by selective blockade of the μ1, the δ, and the κ opioid receptors. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in daily 1 h sessions to intravenously self-administer nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed-ratio 5 schedule. After establishment of stable nicotine self-administration behavior, the effects of the opioid antagonists were tested. Separate groups of rats were used to test the effects of naloxanazine (selective for μ1 receptors, 0, 5, 15 mg/kg), naltrindole (selective for δ receptors, 0, 0.5, 5 mg/kg), and 5′-guanidinonaltrindole (GNTI, selective for κ receptors, 0, 0.25, 1 mg/kg). In each individual drug group, the 3 drug doses were tested by using a within-subject and Latin-Square design. The effects of these antagonists on food self-administering behavior were also examined in the same rats in each respective drug group after retrained for food self-administration. Pretreatment with naloxonazine, but not naltrindole or GNTI, significantly reduced responses on the active lever and correspondingly the number of nicotine infusions. None of these antagonists changed lever-pressing behavior for food reinforcement. These results indicate that activation of the opioid μ1, but not the δ or the κ, receptors is required for the reinforcement of nicotine and suggest that opioid neurotransmission via the μ1 receptors would be a promising target for

  20. Activation of the opioid μ1, but not δ or κ, receptors is required for nicotine reinforcement in a rat model of drug self-administration.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiu; Jernigan, Courtney

    2011-01-15

    There has long been an interest in examining the involvement of opioid neurotransmission in nicotine rewarding process and addiction to nicotine. Over the past 3 decades, however, clinical effort to test the effectiveness of nonselective opioid antagonists (mainly naloxone and naltrexone) for smoking cessation has yielded equivocal results. In light of the fact that there are three distinctive types of receptors mediating actions of the endogenous opioid peptides, this study, using a rat model of nicotine self-administration, examined involvement of different opioid receptors in the reinforcement of nicotine by selective blockade of the μ1, the δ, and the κ opioid receptors. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in daily 1h sessions to intravenously self-administer nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed-ratio 5 schedule. After establishment of stable nicotine self-administration behavior, the effects of the opioid antagonists were tested. Separate groups of rats were used to test the effects of naloxanazine (selective for μ1 receptors, 0, 5 and 15 mg/kg), naltrindole (selective for δ receptors, 0, 0.5 and 5mg/kg), and 5'-guanidinonaltrindole (GNTI, selective for κ receptors, 0, 0.25 and 1mg/kg). In each individual drug group, the 3 drug doses were tested by using a within-subject and Latin-Square design. The effects of these antagonists on food self-administering behavior were also examined in the same rats in each respective drug group after retrained for food self-administration. Pretreatment with naloxonazine, but not naltrindole or GNTI, significantly reduced responses on the active lever and correspondingly the number of nicotine infusions. None of these antagonists changed lever-pressing behavior for food reinforcement. These results indicate that activation of the opioid μ1, but not the δ or the κ, receptors is required for the reinforcement of nicotine and suggest that opioid neurotransmission via the μ1 receptors would be a promising target

  1. Calcitonin Receptor-Like Receptor and Receptor Activity Modifying Protein 1 in the rat dorsal horn: localization in glutamatergic presynaptic terminals containing opioids and adrenergic α2C receptors

    PubMed Central

    Marvizón, Juan Carlos G.; Pérez, Orlando A.; Song, Bingbing; Chen, Wenling; Bunnett, Nigel W.; Grady, Eileen F.; Todd, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    Calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) is abundant in the central terminals of primary afferents. However, the function of CGRP receptors in the spinal cord remains unclear. CGRP receptors are heterodimers of calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR) and receptor activity modifying protein 1 (RAMP1). We studied the localization of CRLR and RAMP1 in the rat dorsal horn using well-characterized antibodies against them, which labeled numerous puncta in laminae I–II. In addition, RAMP1 was found in cell bodies, forming patches at the cell surface. The CRLR- and RAMP1-immunoreactive puncta were further characterized using double and triple labeling. Colocalization was quantified in confocal stacks using Imaris software. CRLR did not colocalize with primary afferent markers, indicating that these puncta were not primary afferent terminals. CRLR- and RAMP1-immunoreactive puncta contained synaptophysin and vesicular glutamate transporter-2 (VGLUT2), showing that they were glutamatergic presynaptic terminals. Electron microscopic immunohistochemistry confirmed that CRLR immunoreactivity was present in axonal boutons that were not in synaptic glomeruli. Using tyramide signal amplification for double labeling with the CRLR and RAMP1 antibodies, we found some clear instances of colocalization of CRLR with RAMP1 in puncta, but their overall colocalization was low. In particular, CRLR was absent from RAMP1-containing cells. Many of the puncta stained for CRLR and RAMP1 were labeled by anti-opioid and anti-enkephalin antibodies. CRLR and, to a lesser extent, RAMP1 also colocalized with adrenergic a2C receptors. Triple label studies demonstrated three-way colocalization of CRLR-VGLUT2-synaptophysin, CRLR-VGLUT2-opioids, and CRLR-opioids-a2C receptors. In conclusion, CRLR is located in glutamatergic presynaptic terminals in the dorsal horn that contain a2C adrenergic receptors and opioids. Some of these terminals contain RAMP1, which may form CGRP receptors with CRLR, but in

  2. Activation of kappa opioid receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla blocks stress-induced antinociception.

    PubMed

    Foo, H; Helmstetter, F J

    2000-10-20

    Prior work has shown that kappa opioids may attenuate the effects of analgesic mu receptor agonists in some neural circuits related to pain modulation. This study examined whether hypoalgesia following exposure to a signal for shock is attenuated by infusions of the kappa agonist U69593 into the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM). Rats were trained with paired or unpaired presentations of white noise and foot shock. On test days, tail flick latencies were measured before, during, and after exposure to the auditory conditioned stimulus (CS). One of three doses of U69593 (0.0445, 0.178 and 1.00 microg) or an equivalent volume of saline was injected into the RVM. Rats that had received noise-shock pairings displayed conditional hypoalgesia (CHA) compared to those given unpaired presentations. Expression of CHA was completely blocked by the highest dose of U69593 (1.00 microg) injected 20 min before testing, indicating an antagonistic effect of U69593 on expression of CHA. These findings are discussed in terms of the evidence for antagonism of morphine- and DAMGO-induced hypoalgesia by kappa agonists.

  3. Different amounts of ejaculatory activity, a natural rewarding behavior, induce differential mu and delta opioid receptor internalization in the rat's ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Garduño-Gutiérrez, René; León-Olea, Martha; Rodríguez-Manzo, Gabriela

    2013-12-06

    Opioid receptors internalize upon specific agonist stimulation. The in vivo significance of receptor internalization is not well established, partly due to the limited in vivo models used to study this phenomenon. Ejaculation promotes endogenous opioid release which activates opioid receptors at the brain, including the mesolimbic system and medial preoptic area. The objective of the present work was to analyze if there was a correlation between the degree of in vivo mu (MOR) and delta opioid receptor (DOR) internalization in the ventral tegmental area and the execution of different amounts of ejaculatory behavior of male rats. To this aim, we analyzed the brains of rats that ejaculated once or six successive times and of sexually exhausted rats with an established sexual inhibition, using immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Results showed that MOR and DOR internalization increased as a consequence of ejaculation. There was a relationship between the amount of sexual activity executed and the degree of internalization for MOR, but not for DOR. MOR internalization was larger in rats that ejaculated repeatedly than in animals ejaculating only once. Significant DOR internalization was found only in animals ejaculating once. Changes in MOR, DOR and beta arrestin2 detection, associated to sexual activity, were also found. It is suggested that copulation to satiety might be useful as a model system to study the biological significance of receptor internalization.

  4. Sex differences in opioid analgesia and addiction: interactions among opioid receptors and estrogen receptors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Opioids are widely used as the pain reliever and also notorious for being addictive drugs. Sex differences in the opioid analgesia and addiction have been reported and investigated in human subjects and animal models. Yet, the molecular mechanism underlying the differences between males and females is still unclear. Here, we reviewed the literature describing the sex differences in analgesic responses and addiction liabilities to clinically relevant opioids. The reported interactions among opioids, estrogens, opioid receptors, and estrogen receptors are also evaluated. We postulate that the sex differences partly originated from the crosstalk among the estrogen and opioid receptors when stimulated by the exogenous opioids, possibly through common secondary messengers and the downstream gene transcriptional regulators. PMID:24010861

  5. Sex differences in opioid analgesia and addiction: interactions among opioid receptors and estrogen receptors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Cynthia Wei-Sheng; Ho, Ing-Kang

    2013-09-08

    Opioids are widely used as the pain reliever and also notorious for being addictive drugs. Sex differences in the opioid analgesia and addiction have been reported and investigated in human subjects and animal models. Yet, the molecular mechanism underlying the differences between males and females is still unclear. Here, we reviewed the literature describing the sex differences in analgesic responses and addiction liabilities to clinically relevant opioids. The reported interactions among opioids, estrogens, opioid receptors, and estrogen receptors are also evaluated. We postulate that the sex differences partly originated from the crosstalk among the estrogen and opioid receptors when stimulated by the exogenous opioids, possibly through common secondary messengers and the downstream gene transcriptional regulators.

  6. Effects of peripheral μ, δ, and Κ-opioid receptor agonists on the levels of anxiety and motor activity of rats.

    PubMed

    Alexeeva, E V; Nazarova, G A; Sudakov, S K

    2012-09-01

    The effects of intragastric administration of μ-, δ, and Κ-opioid receptor agonists DAMGO, DADLE, and ICI 204,448, respectively, on the anxiety and motor activity of rats in an elevated plus-maze were studied. Peripheral administration of ICI 204,448 produced an anxiolytic effect, but had no effect on motor activity of rats. DAMGO and DADLE reduced motor activity; DADLE also increased anxiety. The data on the opposite effects of ICI 204,448 and DADLE on anxiety confirmed our previous hypothesis on the interactions between the central and peripheral components of the endogenous opioid system.

  7. Altered gene expression and functional activity of opioid receptors in the cerebellum of CB1 cannabinoid receptor knockout mice after acute treatments with cannabinoids.

    PubMed

    Páldyová, Estera; Bereczki, E; Sántha, M; Wenger, T; Borsodi, Anna; Benyhe, S

    2007-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown functional links between the cannabinoid and opioid systems. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether acute treatments by endogenous cannabinoid agonist, selective CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists modulate the expression of mu- (MOR) and delta- (DOR) opioid receptor mRNA levels and functional activity in the cerebellum of transgenic mice deficient in the CB1 type of cannabis receptors. We examined the effect of noladin ether (endogenous cannabinoid agonist) pretreatment on MOR and DOR mRNA expression by using reverse transcription and real-time polimerase chain reaction (PCR) and the ability of subsequent application of the opioid agonists to activate G-proteins, as measured by [35S]GTPgammaS binding, in wild-type (CB1+/+) and CB1 cannabinoid receptor deficient (CB1-/-, 'knockout', K.O.) mice. The acute administration of noladin ether markedly reduced MOR-mediated G-protein activation and caused a significant increase in the level of MOR mRNAs in the cerebella of wildtype, but not in the CB1-/- mice. No significant differences were observed in DOR functional activity and mRNA expression in wild-type animals. In CB1-/- mice the expression of DOR mRNA increased after noladin ether treatment, but no changes were found in DOR functional activity. In addition, Rimonabant (selective central cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist) and SR144528 (selective peripheral cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist) caused significant potentiation in MOR functional activity in the wild-type animals, whereas DOR mediated G-protein activation was increased in the CB1-/- mice. In contrast, Rimonabant and SR144528 decreased the MOR and DOR mRNA expressions in both CB1+/+ and CB1-/- mice. Taken together, these results indicate that acute treatment with cannabinoids causes alterations in MOR and DOR mRNA expression and functional activity in the cerebella of wild-type and CB1 knockout mice indicating indirect interactions between these two signaling systems.

  8. Anticonvulsant activity of Dorema ammoniacum gum: evidence for the involvement of benzodiazepines and opioid receptors

    PubMed Central

    Motevalian, Manijeh; Mehrzadi, Saeed; Ahadi, Samira; Shojaii, Asie

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the anticonvulsant activity and possible mechanism of action of an aqueous solution of Dorema ammoniacum gum (DAG) which has been used traditionally in the treatment of convulsions. In this study, the anticonvulsant activity of DAG was examined using the pentylentetrazole (PTZ) model in mice. Thirty male albino mice were divided randomly and equally to 5 groups, and pretreated with normal saline, diazepam, or various doses of DAG (500, 700, and 1000 mg/kg, i.p.), prior to the injection of PTZ (60 mg/kg, i.p.). The latency and duration of seizures were recorded 30 min after PTZ injection. Pretreatments with naloxone and flumazenil in different groups were studied to further clarify the mechanisms of the anticonvulsant action. Phytochemical screening and thin layer chromatography (TLC) fingerprinting of ammoniacum gum was also determined. DAG showed significant anticonvulsant activity at all doses used. The gum delayed both the onset and the duration of seizures induced by PTZ. Treatment with flumazenil before DAG (700 mg/kg) inhibited the effect of gum on seizure duration and latency to some extent and administration of naloxone before DAG also significantly inhibited changes in latency and duration of seizure produced by DAG. The percentage inhibition was greater with naloxone than with flumazenil. This study showed that DAG had significant anticonvulsant activity in PTZ-induced seizures, and GABAergic and opioid systems may be involved. More studies are needed to further investigate its detailed mechanism. PMID:28255314

  9. Clinically employed opioid analgesics produce antinociception via μ-δ opioid receptor heteromers in Rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Yekkirala, Ajay S; Banks, Matthew L; Lunzer, Mary M; Negus, Stevens S; Rice, Kenner C; Portoghese, Philip S

    2012-09-19

    Morphine and related drugs are widely employed as analgesics despite the side effects associated with their use. Although morphine is thought to mediate analgesia through mu opioid receptors, delta opioid receptors have been implicated in mediating some side effects such as tolerance and dependence. Here we present evidence in rhesus monkeys that morphine, fentanyl, and possibly methadone selectively activate mu-delta heteromers to produce antinociception that is potently antagonized by the delta opioid receptor antagonist, naltrindole (NTI). Studies with HEK293 cells expressing mu-delta heteromeric opioid receptors exhibit a similar antagonism profile of receptor activation in the presence of NTI. In mice, morphine was potently inhibited by naltrindole when administered intrathecally, but not intracerebroventricularly, suggesting the possible involvement of mu-delta heteromers in the spinal cord of rodents. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that, in primates, mu-delta heteromers are allosterically coupled and mediate the antinociceptive effects of three clinically employed opioid analgesics that have been traditionally viewed as mu-selective. Given the known involvement of delta receptors in morphine tolerance and dependence, our results implicate mu-delta heteromers in mediating both antinociception and these side effects in primates. These results open the door for further investigation in humans.

  10. Effects of repeated psychostimulant administration on the prodynorphin system activity and kappa opioid receptor density in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Turchan, J; Przewłocka, B; Lasoń, W; Przewłocki, R

    1998-08-01

    The prodynorphin system is implicated in the neurochemical mechanism of psychostimulants. To elucidate the activity of the endogenous prodynorphin system upon treatment with psychostimulants, we investigated the effect of single and repeated cocaine and amphetamine on the prodynorphin messenger RNA level, the prodynorphin-derived peptide alpha-neoendorphin tissue level, and its in vitro release in the nucleus accumbens and striatum of rats. The density of kappa opioid receptors in those brain regions was also assessed. Rats were injected with cocaine following a "binge" administration pattern, 20 mg/kg i.p. every hour for 3 h, one (single treatment) or five days (chronic treatment). Amphetamine, 2.5 mg/kg i.p. was administered once (single treatment) or twice a day for five days (chronic treatment). As shown by an in situ hybridization study, the prodynorphin messenger RNA levels in the nucleus accumbens and striatum were raised following single (at 3 h) and chronic (at 3 and 24 h) cocaine administration. The prodynorphin messenger RNA level in the nucleus accumbens was markedly elevated after single or repeated amphetamine administration. A similar tendency was observed in the striatum. Acute cocaine and amphetamine administration had no effect on the alpha-neoendorphin tissue level, whereas chronic administration of those drugs elevated the alpha-neoendorphin level in the nucleus accumbens and striatum at the late time-points studied. Acute and repeated cocaine administration had no effect on alpha-neoendorphin release in both the nucleus accumbens and striatum at 3 and 48 h after drug injection. In contrast, single and chronic (at 24 and 48 h) amphetamine administration profoundly elevated the release of alpha-neoendorphin in both these structures. Addition of cocaine or amphetamine to the incubation medium (10(-5)-10(-6) M) decreased the basal release of alpha-neoendorphin in the nucleus accumbens slices of naive rats, but it did not change the stimulated

  11. Targeting peripheral opioid receptors to promote analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions

    PubMed Central

    Iwaszkiewicz, Katerina S.; Schneider, Jennifer J.; Hua, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms of endogenous pain control are significant. Increasing studies have clearly produced evidence for the clinical usefulness of opioids in peripheral analgesia. The immune system uses mechanisms of cell migration not only to fight pathogens but also to control pain and inflammation within injured tissue. It has been demonstrated that peripheral inflammatory pain can be effectively controlled by an interaction of immune cell-derived opioid peptides with opioid receptors on peripheral sensory nerve terminals. Experimental and clinical studies have clearly shown that activation of peripheral opioid receptors with exogenous opioid agonists and endogenous opioid peptides are able to produce significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, without central opioid mediated side effects (e.g., respiratory depression, sedation, tolerance, dependence). This article will focus on the role of opioids in peripheral inflammatory conditions and the clinical implications of targeting peripheral opioid receptors. PMID:24167491

  12. Opioid receptors and cardioprotection - 'opioidergic conditioning' of the heart.

    PubMed

    Headrick, John P; See Hoe, Louise E; Du Toit, Eugene F; Peart, Jason N

    2015-04-01

    Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) remains a major cause of morbidity/mortality globally, firmly established in Westernized or 'developed' countries and rising in prevalence in developing nations. Thus, cardioprotective therapies to limit myocardial damage with associated ischaemia-reperfusion (I-R), during infarction or surgical ischaemia, is a very important, although still elusive, clinical goal. The opioid receptor system, encompassing the δ (vas deferens), κ (ketocyclazocine) and μ (morphine) opioid receptors and their endogenous opioid ligands (endorphins, dynorphins, enkephalins), appears as a logical candidate for such exploitation. This regulatory system may orchestrate organism and organ responses to stress, induces mammalian hibernation and associated metabolic protection, triggers powerful adaptive stress resistance in response to ischaemia/hypoxia (preconditioning), and mediates cardiac benefit stemming from physical activity. In addition to direct myocardial actions, central opioid receptor signalling may also enhance the ability of the heart to withstand I-R injury. The δ- and κ-opioid receptors are strongly implicated in cardioprotection across models and species (including anti-infarct and anti-arrhythmic actions), with mixed evidence for μ opioid receptor-dependent protection in animal and human tissues. A small number of clinical trials have provided evidence of cardiac benefit from morphine or remifentanil in cardiopulmonary bypass or coronary angioplasty patients, although further trials of subtype-specific opioid receptor agonists are needed. The precise roles and utility of this GPCR family in healthy and diseased human myocardium, and in mediating central and peripheral survival responses, warrant further investigation, as do the putative negative influences of ageing, IHD co-morbidities, and relevant drugs on opioid receptor signalling and protective responses.

  13. Naloxegol: First oral peripherally acting mu opioid receptor antagonists for opioid-induced constipation

    PubMed Central

    Anantharamu, Tejus; Sharma, Sushil; Gupta, Ajay Kumar; Dahiya, Navdeep; Singh Brashier, Dick B.; Sharma, Ashok Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is one of the most troublesome and the most common effects of opioid use leading to deterioration in quality of life of the patients and also has potentially deleterious repercussions on adherence and compliance to opioid therapy. With the current guidelines advocating liberal use of opioids by physicians even for non-cancer chronic pain, the situation is further complicated as these individuals are not undergoing palliative care and hence there cannot be any justification to subject these patients to the severe constipation brought on by opioid therapy which is no less debilitating than the chronic pain. The aim in these patients is to prevent the opioid-induced constipation but at the same time allow the analgesic activity of opioids. Many drugs have been used with limited success but the most specific among them were the peripherally acting mu opioid receptor antagonists (PAMORA). Methylnaltrexone and alvimopan were the early drugs in this group but were not approved for oral use in OIC. However naloxegol, the latest PAMORA has been very recently approved as the first oral drug for OIC. This article gives an overview of OIC, its current management and more specifically the development and approval of naloxegol, including pharmacokinetics, details of various clinical trials, adverse effects and its current status for the management of OIC. PMID:26312011

  14. Recent advances in the investigation of the bioactive conformation of peptides active at the micro-opioid receptor. conformational analysis of endomorphins.

    PubMed

    Gentilucci, Luca; Tolomelli, Alessandra

    2004-01-01

    Despite of the recent advances in the structural investigation of complex molecules, the comprehension of the 3D features responsible for the interaction between opioid peptides and micro-opioid receptors still remains an elusive task. This has to be attributed to the intrinsic nature of opioid peptides, which can assume a number of different conformations of similar energy, and to the flexibility of the receptorial cavity, which can modify its inner shape to host different ligands. Due to this inherent mobility of the ligand-receptor system, massive efforts devoted to the definition of a rigid bioactive conformation to be used as a template for the design of new pharmacologically active compounds might be overstressed. The future goal might be the design of peptide or nonpeptide ligands capable of maximizing specific hydrophobic interactions. This review covers the recent opinions emerged on the nature of the ligand-receptor interaction, and the development of suitable models for the determination of the bioactive conformation of peptide ligands active towards micro-opioid receptors.

  15. Parallel Synthesis of Hexahydrodiimidazodiazepines Heterocyclic Peptidomimetics and Their in Vitro and in Vivo Activities at μ (MOR), δ (DOR), and κ (KOR) Opioid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Eans, Shainnel O; Ganno, Michelle L; Mizrachi, Elisa; Houghten, Richard A; Dooley, Colette T; McLaughlin, Jay P; Nefzi, Adel

    2015-06-25

    In the development of analgesics with mixed-opioid agonist activity, peripherally selective activity is expected to decrease side effects, minimizing respiratory depression and reinforcing properties generating significantly safer analgesic therapeutics. We synthesized diazaheterocyclics from reduced tripeptides. In vitro screening with radioligand competition binding assays demonstrated variable affinity for μ (MOR), δ (DOR), and κ (KOR) opioid receptors across the series, with the diimidazodiazepine 14 (2065-14) displaying good affinity for DOR and KOR. Central (icv), intraperitoneal (ip), or oral (po) administration of 14 produced dose-dependent, opioid-receptor mediated antinociception in the mouse, as determined from a 55 °C warm-water tail-withdrawal assay. Only trace amounts of compound 14 was found in brain up to 90 min later, suggesting poor BBB penetration and possible peripherally restricted activity. Central administration of 14 did not produce locomotor effects, acute antinociceptive tolerance, or conditioned-place preference or aversion. The data suggest these diazaheterocyclic mixed activity opioid receptor agonists may hold potential as new analgesics with fewer liabilities of use.

  16. Anticonvulsant Activity of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Citrullus colocynthis Fruit: Involvement of Benzodiazepine and Opioid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Mehrzadi, Saeed; Shojaii, Asie; Pur, Sogol Attari; Motevalian, Manijeh

    2016-10-01

    This study investigated the anticonvulsant activity of Citrullus colocynthis fruit extract used traditionally in the treatment of convulsion. Albino mice were pretreated with extract in different doses (10, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg), prior to injection of pentylenetetrazole. Animals received pretreatments with naloxone and flumazenil to further clarify the mechanisms of anticonvulsant action. The total flavonoid content of Citrullus colocynthis extract was also determined. Citrullus colocynthis hydroalcoholic extract with doses 25 and 50 mg/kg prolonged the onset of seizures and decreased the duration compared with control group. Pretreatment by flumazenil could inhibit the effect of Citrullus colocynthis on latency of seizure to some extent and administration of naloxone significantly inhibited changes in latency and duration of seizure produced by Citrullus colocynthis This study showed that Citrullus colocynthis has significant anticonvulsant effect in pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in mice, and these effects may be related to its effect on γ-aminobutyric acid-ergic and opioid systems. These results confirmed the traditional use of Citrullus colocynthis in Iranian traditional medicine.

  17. Biased Agonism of Endogenous Opioid Peptides at the μ-Opioid Receptor.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Georgina L; Lane, J Robert; Coudrat, Thomas; Sexton, Patrick M; Christopoulos, Arthur; Canals, Meritxell

    2015-08-01

    Biased agonism is having a major impact on modern drug discovery, and describes the ability of distinct G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) ligands to activate different cell signaling pathways, and to result in different physiologic outcomes. To date, most studies of biased agonism have focused on synthetic molecules targeting various GPCRs; however, many of these receptors have multiple endogenous ligands, suggesting that "natural" bias may be an unappreciated feature of these GPCRs. The μ-opioid receptor (MOP) is activated by numerous endogenous opioid peptides, remains an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of pain, and exhibits biased agonism in response to synthetic opiates. The aim of this study was to rigorously assess the potential for biased agonism in the actions of endogenous opioids at the MOP in a common cellular background, and compare these to the effects of the agonist d-Ala2-N-MePhe4-Gly-ol enkephalin (DAMGO). We investigated activation of G proteins, inhibition of cAMP production, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 phosphorylation, β-arrestin 1/2 recruitment, and MOP trafficking, and applied a novel analytical method to quantify biased agonism. Although many endogenous opioids displayed signaling profiles similar to that of DAMGO, α-neoendorphin, Met-enkephalin-Arg-Phe, and the putatively endogenous peptide endomorphin-1 displayed particularly distinct bias profiles. These may represent examples of natural bias if it can be shown that they have different signaling properties and physiologic effects in vivo compared with other endogenous opioids. Understanding how endogenous opioids control physiologic processes through biased agonism can reveal vital information required to enable the design of biased opioids with improved pharmacological profiles and treat diseases involving dysfunction of the endogenous opioid system.

  18. [Endomorphins--endogenous ligands of the mu-opioid receptor].

    PubMed

    Perlikowska, Renata; Fichna, Jakub; Janecka, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Two endogenous opioid peptides with extremely high mu-opioid receptor affinity and selectivity, endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2, were: discovered and isolated from the mammalian brain in 1997. Endomorphins are amidated tetrapeptides, structurally different from so called typical opioids: enkephalins, dynorphins and endorphins. A protein precursor of endomorphins and a gene encoding their sequence remain unknown. Endomorphins are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier because of their low hydrophobicity. In animal models, these peptides turned out to be very potent in relieving neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In comparison with morphine, a prototype opioid receptor ligand, endomorphins produces less undesired side effects. In this article we describe the discovery of endomorphins, their cellular localization and functions in the organism, as well as their structure-activity relationships and biodegradation pathways.

  19. Studies Toward the Pharmacophore of Salvinorin A, a Potent Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist

    PubMed Central

    Munro, Thomas A.; Rizzacasa, Mark A.; Roth, Bryan L.; Toth, Beth A.; Yan, Feng

    2009-01-01

    Salvinorin A (1), from the sage Salvia divinorum, is a potent and selective kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. We screened other salvinorins and derivatives for binding affinity and functional activity at opioid receptors. Our results suggest that the methyl ester and furan ring are required for activity, but that the lactone and ketone functionalities are not. Other salvinorins showed negligible binding affinity at the KOR. None of the compounds bound to mu or delta opioid receptors. PMID:15658846

  20. Studies toward the pharmacophore of salvinorin A, a potent kappa opioid receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Munro, Thomas A; Rizzacasa, Mark A; Roth, Bryan L; Toth, Beth A; Yan, Feng

    2005-01-27

    Salvinorin A (1), from the sage Salvia divinorum, is a potent and selective kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. We screened other salvinorins and derivatives for binding affinity and functional activity at opioid receptors. Our results suggest that the methyl ester and furan ring are required for activity but that the lactone and ketone functionalities are not. Other salvinorins showed negligible binding affinity at the KOR. None of the compounds bound to mu or delta opioid receptors.

  1. Involvement of peripheral mu opioid receptors in scratching behavior in mice.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Atsuki; Sugimoto, Yukio

    2010-12-15

    Pruritus is a common adverse effect of opioid treatment. However, the mechanism by which pruritus is induced by opioid administration is unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of the intradermal injection of loperamide, a peripherally restricted opioid receptor agonist, on the itch sensation. When injected intradermally into the rostral part of the back in mice, loperamide elicited scratching behavior. We also examined the effects of the selective mu opioid receptor agonist [d-Ala², N-Me-Phe⁴, Gly⁵-ol]-enkephalin acetate (DAMGO), the selective delta opioid receptor agonist [d-Pen(2,5)]-enkephalin (DPDPE), and the selective kappa opioid receptor agonist U-50488H on scratching behavior in mice in order to determine which subtype is involved in opioid-induced pruritus. Following intradermal injection into the rostral part of the back in mice, DAMGO elicited scratching behavior, while DPDPE and U-50488H did not. This suggests that peripheral mu opioid activation elicits the itch sensation. Next, we focused on the treatment of opioid-induced itch sensation without central adverse effects. Naloxone methiodide is a peripherally restricted opioid receptor antagonist. In the present study, naloxone methiodide significantly suppressed scratching behavior induced by loperamide and DAMGO. These findings suggest that mu opioid receptors play a primary role in peripheral pruritus and that naloxone methiodide may represent a possible remedy for opioid-induced itching.

  2. Opioid research in amphibians: an alternative pain model yielding insights on the evolution of opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Craig W

    2004-10-01

    This review summarizes the work from our laboratory investigating mechanisms of opioid analgesia using the Northern grass frog, Rana pipiens. Over the last dozen years, we have accumulated data on the characterization of behavioral effects after opioid administration on radioligand binding by using opioid agonist and antagonist ligands in amphibian brain and spinal cord homogenates, and by cloning and sequencing opioid-like receptor cDNA from amphibian central nervous system (CNS) tissues. The relative analgesic potency of mu, delta, and kappa opioids is highly correlated between frogs and other mammals, including humans. Radioligand binding studies using selective opioid agonists show a similar selectivity profile in amphibians and mammals. In contrast, opioid antagonists that are highly selective for mammalian mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors were not selective in behavioral and binding studies in amphibians. Three opioid-like receptor cDNAs were cloned and sequenced from amphibian brain tissues and are orthologs to mammalian mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. Bioinformatics analysis of the three types of opioid receptor cDNAs from all vertebrate species with full datasets gave a pattern of the molecular evolution of opioid receptors marked by the divergence of mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptor sequences during vertebrate evolution. This divergence in receptor amino acid sequence in later-evolved vertebrates underlies the hypothesis that opioid receptors are more type-selective in mammals than in nonmammalian vertebrates. The apparent order of receptor type evolution is kappa, then delta, and, most recently, the mu opioid receptor. Finally, novel bioinformatics analyses suggest that conserved extracellular receptor domains determine the type selectivity of vertebrate opioid receptors.

  3. Effects of μ-opioid receptor modulation on the hippocampal network activity of sharp wave and ripples

    PubMed Central

    Giannopoulos, Panagiotis; Papatheodoropoulos, Costas

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Hippocampus-dependent memory involves the activity of sharp wave ripples (SWRs), which are thought to participate in the process of memory consolidation. The hippocampus contains high levels of endogenous opioids and of μ-opioid receptors (MORs). Here, we have assessed the role of MOR agonists in the modulation of SWRs. Experimental Approach Using recordings of extracellular potentials from the CA1 field of rat hippocampal slices, we examined the pharmacological actions of morphine, DAMGO and fentanyl on SWRs and on network excitability and paired-pulse inhibition. Key Results All three MOR agonists (1 nM–10 μM) significantly increased the amplitude of sharp waves and the occurrence of SWR sequences, but reduced the initiation of episodes of SWRs. Fentanyl was most potent in producing these effects and morphine the least. Interestingly, although SWRs were reduced by relatively high concentrations (≥100 nM) of all agonists, they were significantly enhanced by very low concentrations of morphine (5–10 nM). Morphine and DAMGO at moderate-to-high concentrations increased network excitability and reduced inhibition. Furthermore, DAMGO suppressed inhibition more readily than it increased excitation, whereas morphine suppressed inhibition only at high concentrations. These drug effects were reversed by the MOR antagonists naloxone and CTOP. Conclusions and Implications We found that the SWRs were significantly modulated by three MOR agonists and that the SWRs were very sensitive to subtle changes in the excitation/inhibition balance induced by MOR agonists. Such modulation might underlie the effects of these agonists on hippocampus-dependent memory. PMID:23043226

  4. Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ Receptor Structure, Signaling, Ligands, Functions, and Interactions with Opioid Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bruchas, Michael R.; Calo', Girolamo; Cox, Brian M.; Zaveri, Nurulain T.

    2016-01-01

    The NOP receptor (nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid peptide receptor) is the most recently discovered member of the opioid receptor family and, together with its endogenous ligand, N/OFQ, make up the fourth members of the opioid receptor and opioid peptide family. Because of its more recent discovery, an understanding of the cellular and behavioral actions induced by NOP receptor activation are less well developed than for the other members of the opioid receptor family. All of these factors are important because NOP receptor activation has a clear modulatory role on mu opioid receptor-mediated actions and thereby affects opioid analgesia, tolerance development, and reward. In addition to opioid modulatory actions, NOP receptor activation has important effects on motor function and other physiologic processes. This review discusses how NOP pharmacology intersects, contrasts, and interacts with the mu opioid receptor in terms of tertiary structure and mechanism of receptor activation; location of receptors in the central nervous system; mechanisms of desensitization and downregulation; cellular actions; intracellular signal transduction pathways; and behavioral actions with respect to analgesia, tolerance, dependence, and reward. This is followed by a discussion of the agonists and antagonists that have most contributed to our current knowledge. Because NOP receptors are highly expressed in brain and spinal cord and NOP receptor activation sometimes synergizes with mu receptor-mediated actions and sometimes opposes them, an understanding of NOP receptor pharmacology in the context of these interactions with the opioid receptors will be crucial to the development of novel therapeutics that engage the NOP receptor. PMID:26956246

  5. Salvinorin A inhibits colonic transit and neurogenic ion transport in mice by activating kappa-opioid and cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Fichna, J; Schicho, R; Andrews, C N; Bashashati, M; Klompus, M; McKay, D M; Sharkey, K A; Zjawiony, J K; Janecka, A; Storr, M A

    2009-12-01

    The major active ingredient of the plant Salvia divinorum, salvinorin A (SA) has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. As the action of SA on the regulation of colonic function is unknown, our aim was to examine the effects of SA on mouse colonic motility and secretion in vitro and in vivo. The effects of SA on GI motility were studied using isolated preparations of colon, which were compared with preparations from stomach and ileum. Colonic epithelial ion transport was evaluated using Ussing chambers. Additionally, we studied GI motility in vivo by measuring colonic propulsion, gastric emptying, and upper GI transit. Salvinorin A inhibited contractions of the mouse colon, stomach, and ileum in vitro, prolonged colonic propulsion and slowed upper GI transit in vivo. Salvinorin A had no effect on gastric emptying in vivo. Salvinorin A reduced veratridine-, but not forskolin-induced epithelial ion transport. The effects of SA on colonic motility in vitro were mediated by kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) and cannabinoid (CB) receptors, as they were inhibited by the antagonists nor-binaltorphimine (KOR), AM 251 (CB(1) receptor) and AM 630 (CB(2) receptor). However, in the colon in vivo, the effects were largely mediated by KORs. The effects of SA on veratridine-mediated epithelial ion transport were inhibited by nor-binaltorphimine and AM 630. Salvinorin A slows colonic motility in vitro and in vivo and influences neurogenic ion transport. Due to its specific regional action, SA or its derivatives may be useful drugs in the treatment of lower GI disorders associated with increased GI transit and diarrhoea.

  6. Redefining the structure-activity relationships of 2,6-methano-3-benzazocines. 5. Opioid receptor binding properties of N-((4'-phenyl)-phenethyl) analogues of 8-CAC.

    PubMed

    VanAlstine, Melissa A; Wentland, Mark P; Cohen, Dana J; Bidlack, Jean M

    2007-12-01

    A series of aryl-containing N-monosubstituted analogues of the lead compound 8-[N-((4'-phenyl)-phenethyl)]-carboxamidocyclazocine were synthesized and evaluated to probe a putative hydrophobic binding pocket of opioid receptors. Very high binding affinity to the mu opioid receptor was achieved though the N-(2-(4'-methoxybiphenyl-4-yl)ethyl) analogue of 8-CAC. High binding affinity to mu and very high binding affinity to kappa opioid receptors was observed for the N-(3-bromophenethyl) analogue of 8-CAC. High binding affinity to all three opioid receptors were observed for the N-(2-naphthylethyl) analogue of 8-CAC.

  7. Actions of tilidine and nortilidine on cloned opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Thierry, Christophe; Boeynaems, Jean-Marie; Paolo, Meoni

    2005-01-04

    Tilidine, alone or combined with naloxone to prevent drug abuse, is used as an oral opioid analgesic. Although the analgesic action of tilidine and its active metabolite nortilidine is reversed by naloxone and therefore believed to involve the activation of the Mu opioid (MOP, OP3, mu) receptor, this has never been studied in recombinant systems. We have measured the selectivity of tilidine and nortilidine for human opioid and opioid-like receptors stably expressed in CHO-K1 cells, using the inhibition of the forskolin (FK)-induced accumulation of cAMP as endpoint. In cells expressing the MOP receptor, tilidine and nortilidine inhibited cAMP accumulation with IC50 of 11 microM and 110 nM, respectively. The agonist effects of nortilidine and [D-Ala2-MePhe4-Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO) on the MOP receptor were reversed by naloxone with very similar IC50 (1.2 versus 1.8 nM). At concentrations up to 100 microM, tilidine and nortilidine had no agonist effect on the DOP, KOP and NOP receptors. In conclusion, this study on cloned human receptors demonstrates that nortilidine is a selective agonist of the MOP receptor.

  8. Paradoxical relationship between RAVE (relative activity versus endocytosis) values of several opioid receptor agonists and their liability to cause dependence

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-hua; Sun, Jian-feng; Tao, Yi-min; Xu, Xue-jun; Chi, Zhi-qiang; Liu, Jing-gen

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between the RAVE (relative activity versus endocytosis) values of opiate agonists and their dependence liability by studying several potent analgesics with special profiles in the development of physical and psychological dependence. Methods: The effects of (−)-cis-(3R,4S,2′R) ohmefentanyl (F9202), (+)-cis-(3R,4S,2′S) ohmefentanyl (F9204), dihydroetorphine (DHE) and morphine on [35S]GTPγS binding, forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, and receptor internalization were studied in CHO cells stably expressing HA-tagged μ-opioid receptors (CHO-HA-MOR). cAMP overshoot in response to the withdrawal of these compound treatments was also tested. Results: All four agonists exhibited the same rank order of activity in stimulation of [35S]GTPγS binding, inhibition of adenylyl cyclase (AC) and induction of receptor internalization: DHE>F9204>F9202>morphine. Based on these findings and the previous in vivo analgesic data obtained from our and other laboratories, the RAVE values of the four agonists were calculated. The rank order of RAVE values was morphine>F9202>F9204>DHE. For the induction of cAMP overshoot, the rank order was F9202≥morphine>F9204≥DHE. Conclusion: Taken in combination with previous findings of these compounds' liability to develop dependence, the present study suggests that the agonist with the highest RAVE value seems to have a relatively greater liability to develop psychological dependence relative to the agonist with the lowest RAVE value. However, the RAVE values of these agonists are not correlated with their probability of developing physical dependence or inducing cAMP overshoot, a cellular hallmark of dependence. PMID:20228826

  9. [Functional selectivity of opioid receptors ligands].

    PubMed

    Audet, Nicolas; Archer-Lahlou, Elodie; Richard-Lalonde, Mélissa; Piñeyro-Filpo, Graciela

    2010-01-01

    Opiates are the most effective analgesics available for the treatment of severe pain. However, their clinical use is restricted by unwanted side effects such as tolerance, physical dependence and respiratory depression. The strategy to develop new opiates with reduced side effects has mainly focused on the study and production of ligands that specifically bind to different opiate receptors subtypes. However, this strategy has not allowed the production of novel therapeutic ligands with a better side effects profile. Thus, other research strategies need to be explored. One which is receiving increasing attention is the possibility of exploiting ligand ability to stabilize different receptor conformations with distinct signalling profiles. This newly described property, termed functional selectivity, provides a potential means of directing the stimulus generated by an activated receptor towards a specific cellular response. Here we summarize evidence supporting the existence of ligand-specific active conformations for two opioid receptors subtypes (delta and mu), and analyze how functional selectivity may contribute in the production of longer lasting, better tolerated opiate analgesics. double dagger.

  10. Autistic-like syndrome in mu opioid receptor null mice is relieved by facilitated mGluR4 activity.

    PubMed

    Becker, Jérôme A J; Clesse, Daniel; Spiegelhalter, Coralie; Schwab, Yannick; Le Merrer, Julie; Kieffer, Brigitte L

    2014-08-01

    The etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) remains largely unknown. Identifying vulnerability genes for autism represents a major challenge in the field and allows the development of animal models for translational research. Mice lacking the mu opioid receptor gene (Oprm1(-/-)) were recently proposed as a monogenic mouse model of autism, based on severe deficits in social behavior and communication skills. We confirm this hypothesis by showing that adult Oprm1(-/-) animals recapitulate core and multiple comorbid behavioral symptoms of autism and also display anatomical, neurochemical, and genetic landmarks of the disease. Chronic facilitation of mGluR4 signaling, which we identified as a novel pharmacological target in ASDs in these mice, was more efficient in alleviating behavioral deficits than the reference molecule risperidone. Altogether, our data provide first evidence that disrupted mu opioid receptor signaling is sufficient to trigger a comprehensive autistic syndrome, maybe through blunted social reward processes, and this mouse model opens promising avenues for therapeutic innovation.

  11. Differential activation of the μ-opioid receptor by oxycodone and morphine in pain-related brain regions in a bone cancer pain model

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Atsushi; Hasegawa, Minoru; Minami, Kazuhisa; Kanbara, Tomoe; Tomii, Takako; Nishiyori, Atsushi; Narita, Minoru; Suzuki, Tsutomu; Kato, Akira

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Bone cancer pain is chronic and often difficult to control with opioids. However, recent studies have shown that several opioids have distinct analgesic profiles in chronic pain. Experimental Approach To clarify the mechanisms underlying these distinct analgesic profiles, functional changes in the μ-opioid receptor were examined using a mouse femur bone cancer (FBC) model. Key Results In the FBC model, the Bmax of [3H]-DAMGO binding was reduced by 15–45% in the periaqueductal grey matter (PAG), region ventral to the PAG (vPAG), mediodorsal thalamus (mTH), ventral thalamus and spinal cord. Oxycodone (10−8–10−5 M) and morphine (10−8–10−5 M) activated [35S]-GTPγS binding, but the activation was significantly attenuated in the PAG, vPAG, mTH and spinal cord in the FBC model. Interestingly, the attenuation of oxycodone-induced [35S]-GTPγS binding was quite limited (9–26%) in comparison with that of morphine (46–65%) in the PAG, vPAG and mTH, but not in the spinal cord. Furthermore, i.c.v. oxycodone at doses of 0.02–1.0 μg per mouse clearly inhibited pain-related behaviours, such as guarding, limb-use abnormalities and allodynia-like behaviour in the FBC model mice, while i.c.v. morphine (0.05–2.0 μg per mouse) had only partial or little analgesic effect on limb-use abnormalities and allodynia-like behaviour. Conclusion and Implications These results show that μ-opioid receptor functions are attenuated in several pain-related regions in bone cancer in an agonist-dependent manner, and suggest that modification of the μ-opioid receptor is responsible for the distinct analgesic effect of oxycodone and morphine. PMID:22889192

  12. Opioid receptor agonists reduce brain edema in stroke.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Wang, Hezhen; Shah, Kaushik; Karamyan, Vardan T; Abbruscato, Thomas J

    2011-04-06

    Cerebral edema is a leading cause of mortality in stroke patients. The purpose of this study was to assess a non-selective opioid receptor agonist, biphalin, in decreasing reducing brain edema formation using both in vitro and in vivo models of stroke. For the in situ model of ischemia, hippocampal slices were exposed to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) conditions and we observed that hippocampal water content was increased, compared to normoxia. Treatment with the mu agonist, Tyr-D-Ala', N-CH, -Phe4, Glyol-Enkephalin (DAMGO), delta opioid agonists, D-pen(2), D-phe(5) enkephalin (DPDPE), and kappa agonist, U50 488, all significantly decreased brain slice water gain. Interestingly, the non-selective agonist, biphalin, exhibited a statistically significant (P<0.01) greater effect in decreasing water content in OGD-exposed hippocampal slices, compared with mu, delta, and kappa selective opioid agonists. Moreover, biphalin exhibited anti-edematous effects in a dose responsive manner. The non-selective opioid antagonist, naloxone, returned the water content nearly back to original OGD values for all opioid agonist treatments, supporting that these effects were mediated by an opioid receptor pathway. Furthermore, biphalin significantly decreased edema (53%) and infarct (48%) ratios, and neuronal recovery from stroke, compared with the vehicle-treated groups in a 12h permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model of focal ischemia. Biphalin also significantly decreased the cell volume increase in primary neuronal cells exposed to OGD condition. These data suggest that opioid receptor activation may provide neuroprotection during stroke and further investigations are needed in the development of novel opioid agonist as efficacious treatments for brain ischemia.

  13. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery. PMID:25981301

  14. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-09-15

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery.

  15. Cytoprotection against Hypoxic and/or MPP+ Injury: Effect of δ–Opioid Receptor Activation on Caspase 3

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yuan; Zhi, Feng; Shao, Naiyuan; Wang, Rong; Yang, Yilin; Xia, Ying

    2016-01-01

    The pathological changes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are, at least partially, associated with the dysregulation of PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and caspase 3. Since hypoxic and neurotoxic insults are underlying causes of PD, and since δ-opioid receptor (DOR) is neuroprotective against hypoxic/ischemic insults, we sought to determine whether DOR activation could protect the cells from damage induced by hypoxia and/or MPP+ by regulating PINK1 and caspase 3 expressions. We exposed PC12 cells to either severe hypoxia (0.5%–1% O2) for 24–48 h or to MPP+ at different concentrations (0.5, 1, 2 mM) and then detected the levels of PINK1 and cleaved caspase 3. Both hypoxia and MPP+ reduced cell viability, progressively suppressed the expression of PINK1 and increased the cleaved caspase 3. DOR activation using UFP-512, effectively protected the cells from hypoxia and/or MPP+ induced injury, reversed the reduction in PINK1 protein and significantly attenuated the increase in the cleaved caspase 3. On the other hand, the application of DOR antagonist, naltrindole, greatly decreased cell viability and increased cleaved caspase 3. These findings suggest that DOR is cytoprotective against both hypoxia and MPP+ through the regulation of PINK1 and caspase 3 pathways. PMID:27517901

  16. Antagonizing the different stages of kappa opioid receptor activation selectively and independently attenuates acquisition and consolidation of associative memories.

    PubMed

    Loh, Ryan; Chau, Lily; Aijaz, Ali; Wu, Kevin; Galvez, Roberto

    2017-04-14

    Previous work from our laboratory has shown that nonspecific kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonism in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) can inhibit acquisition for the forebrain-dependent associative task, Whisker-Trace Eyeblink conditioning (WTEB). Although studies have demonstrated that KOR activation can alter stimuli salience, our studies controlled for these factors, demonstrating that KOR also plays a role in facilitating learning. KOR has two distinct phases of activation followed by internalization/downregulation, that each independently activate kinases and transcription factors known to mediate task acquisition and memory consolidation respectively. The current study demonstrated that antagonism of the initial phase of KOR activation in S1 via local injections of the g-protein inhibitor, pertussis toxin (PTX), blocked initial WTEB acquisition without affecting retention of the association. In contrast, KOR late phase antagonism in S1 via local injections of the GRK3-specific antagonist, guanidinonaltrindole (GNTI), blocked retention of the WTEB association without affecting task acquisition. Consistent with the known mechanism for KOR activation, KOR protein expression in S1 was found to be decreased following WTEB training, further supporting the involvement of neocortical KOR activation with learning. Prior studies have shown that task acquisition and memory consolidation are mediated by distinct molecular processes; however, little is known regarding a potential mechanism driving these processes. The current study suggests that neocortical KOR activation mediates activation of these processes with learning. This study provides the first evidence for a time- and learning-dependent property of neocortical KOR in facilitating acquisition and consolidation of associative memories, while elucidating an unexplored neocortical learning mechanism.

  17. Development of concepts on the interaction of drugs with opioid receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzmina, N. E.; Kuzmin, V. S.

    2011-02-01

    The development of concepts on the molecular mechanisms of the action of medicinal drugs on the opioid receptors is briefly surveyed. The modern point of view on the mechanism of activation of opioid receptors is given based on the data from chimeric and site-directed mutagenesis of the cloned opioid receptors and the computer-aided simulations of the reception zone and ligand-receptor complexes. Three-dimensional models of the opioid pharmacophore derived by both conventional methods and a comparative analysis of molecular fields are described in detail.

  18. Activation of opioid micro-receptors in medullary raphe depresses sighs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhenxiong; Xu, Fadi; Zhang, Cancan; Liang, Xiaomin

    2009-05-01

    Sighs, a well-known phenomenon in mammals, are substantially augmented by hypoxia and hypercapnia. Because (d-Ala(2),N-Me-Phe(4),Gly-ol)-enkephalin (DAMGO), a mu-receptor agonist, injected intravenously and locally in the caudal medullary raphe region (cMRR) decreased the ventilatory response to hypoxia and hypercapnia, we hypothesized that these treatments could inhibit sigh responses to these chemical stimuli. The number and amplitude of sighs were recorded during three levels of isocapnic hypoxia (15%, 10%, and 5% O(2) for 1.5 min) or hypercapnia (3%, 7%, and 10% CO(2) for 4 min) to test the dependence of sigh responses on the intensity of chemical drive in anesthetized and spontaneously breathing rats. The role of mu-receptors in modulating sigh responses to 10% O(2) or 7% CO(2) was subsequently evaluated by comparing the sighs before and after 1) intravenous administration of DAMGO (100 microg/kg), 2) microinjection of DAMGO (35 ng/100 nl) into the cMRR, and 3) intravenous administration of DAMGO after microinjection of d-Phe-Cys-Tyr-d-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP, 100 ng/100 nl), a micro-receptor antagonist, into the cMRR. Hypoxia and hypercapnia increased the number, but not amplitude, of sighs in a concentration-dependent manner, and the responses to hypoxia were significantly greater than those to hypercapnia. Systemic and local injection of DAMGO into the cMRR predominantly decreased the number of sighs, while microinjection into the rostral and middle MRR had no or limited effects. Microinjecting CTAP into the cMRR significantly diminished the systemic DAMGO-induced reduction of the number of sighs in response to hypoxia, but not to hypercapnia. Thus we conclude that hypoxia and hypercapnia elevate the number of sighs in a concentration-dependent manner in anesthetized rats, and this response is significantly depressed by activating systemic mu-receptors, especially those within the cMRR.

  19. Activation of Peripheral Mu-Opioid Receptors by Dermorphin [D-Arg2, Lys4] (1-4) amide Leads to Modality-preferred Inhibition of Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Tiwari, Vinod; Yang, Fei; He, Shao-Qiu; Shechter, Ronen; Zhang, Chen; Shu, Bin; Zhang, Tong; Tiwari, Vineeta; Wang, Yun; Dong, Xinzhong; Guan, Yun; Raja, Srinivasa N.

    2015-01-01

    Background Opioids have long been regarded as the most effective drugs for treatment of severe acute and chronic pain. Unfortunately, their therapeutic efficacy and clinical utility has been limited because of central and peripheral side effects. Methods To determine the therapeutic value of peripheral mu-opioid receptors as a target for neuropathic pain treatment, we examined the effects of DALDA, a hydrophilic, peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor agonist, in male and female rats with spinal nerve ligation-induced neuropathic pain. We also utilized behavioral, pharmacologic, electrophysiologic, and molecular biologic tools to characterize DALDA's possible mechanisms of action in male rats. Results DALDA, administered subcutaneously, had 70 times greater efficacy for inhibiting thermal (n=8–11/group) than mechanical hypersensitivity (n=6–8/group) in male rats. The pain inhibitory effects of DALDA on mechanical and heat hypersensitivity were abolished in animals pretreated with systemic methylnaltrexone (n=7–9/group), a peripheral mu-opioid receptor antagonist. In spinal wide-dynamic range neurons, systemic DALDA inhibited C-fiber–mediated, but not A-fiber–mediated, response in neuropathic male rats (n=13). In primary sensory neurons, DALDA inhibited the capsaicin-induced [Ca2+] increase more than the β-alanine–induced [Ca2+] increase (n=300); capsaicin and β-alanine activate subpopulations of neurons involved in the signaling of heat and mechanical pain, respectively. DALDA-treated rats (n=5–8/group) did not exhibit motor deficits and locomotor impairment suggesting that it does not induce central side effects. Conclusion These findings suggest that DALDA may represent a potential alternative to current opioid therapy for the treatment of neuropathic pain and is likely to be associated with minimal adverse effects. PMID:26756519

  20. Protein kinase C involvement in homologous desensitization of delta-opioid receptor coupled to Gi1-phospholipase C activation in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Ueda, H; Miyamae, T; Hayashi, C; Watanabe, S; Fukushima, N; Sasaki, Y; Iwamura, T; Misu, Y

    1995-11-01

    We have developed the coexpression system of both delta-opioid receptor (DOR1) and M2-muscarinic receptor (M2) which mediate agonist-evoked currents due to common post-receptor mechanisms including Gi1 and phospholipase C (PLC) activation in Xenopus oocytes reconstituted with Gi1 alpha. The DOR1-currents by 100 nM D-Ser2-leu-enkephalin-Thr6 (DSLET) were selectively desensitized by 10 nM phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). The PMA-desensitization of DSLET-currents was abolished in the presence of calphostin C, a protein kinase C inhibitor, or reversed by an intracellular injection of calcineurin, a protein phosphatase 2B. When a higher concentration (3 microM) of DSLET was used, DSLET-currents were rapidly desensitized by repeated challenges of DSLET itself. However, repeated challenges of 10 microM ACh caused no influence on such DSLET- or M2-currents. The desensitization of DSLET-currents was selectively reversed by protein kinase C inhibitors. Similar results were also obtained with various delta-opioid agonists. These results suggest that protein kinase C is involved in the homologous desensitization of delta-opioid receptors.

  1. BOLD Imaging in Awake Wild-Type and Mu-Opioid Receptor Knock-Out Mice Reveals On-Target Activation Maps in Response to Oxycodone.

    PubMed

    Moore, Kelsey; Madularu, Dan; Iriah, Sade; Yee, Jason R; Kulkarni, Praveen; Darcq, Emmanuel; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Ferris, Craig F

    2016-01-01

    Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) imaging in awake mice was used to identify differences in brain activity between wild-type, and Mu (μ) opioid receptor knock-outs (MuKO) in response to oxycodone (OXY). Using a segmented, annotated MRI mouse atlas and computational analysis, patterns of integrated positive and negative BOLD activity were identified across 122 brain areas. The pattern of positive BOLD showed enhanced activation across the brain in WT mice within 15 min of intraperitoneal administration of 2.5 mg of OXY. BOLD activation was detected in 72 regions out of 122, and was most prominent in areas of high μ opioid receptor density (thalamus, ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, caudate putamen, basal amygdala, and hypothalamus), and focus on pain circuits indicated strong activation in major pain processing centers (central amygdala, solitary tract, parabrachial area, insular cortex, gigantocellularis area, ventral thalamus primary sensory cortex, and prelimbic cortex). Importantly, the OXY-induced positive BOLD was eliminated in MuKO mice in most regions, with few exceptions (some cerebellar nuclei, CA3 of the hippocampus, medial amygdala, and preoptic areas). This result indicates that most effects of OXY on positive BOLD are mediated by the μ opioid receptor (on-target effects). OXY also caused an increase in negative BOLD in WT mice in few regions (16 out of 122) and, unlike the positive BOLD response the negative BOLD was only partially eliminated in the MuKO mice (cerebellum), and in some case intensified (hippocampus). Negative BOLD analysis therefore shows activation and deactivation events in the absence of the μ receptor for some areas where receptor expression is normally extremely low or absent (off-target effects). Together, our approach permits establishing opioid-induced BOLD activation maps in awake mice. In addition, comparison of WT and MuKO mutant mice reveals both on-target and off-target activation events, and set an OXY brain

  2. BOLD Imaging in Awake Wild-Type and Mu-Opioid Receptor Knock-Out Mice Reveals On-Target Activation Maps in Response to Oxycodone

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Kelsey; Madularu, Dan; Iriah, Sade; Yee, Jason R.; Kulkarni, Praveen; Darcq, Emmanuel; Kieffer, Brigitte L.; Ferris, Craig F.

    2016-01-01

    Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) imaging in awake mice was used to identify differences in brain activity between wild-type, and Mu (μ) opioid receptor knock-outs (MuKO) in response to oxycodone (OXY). Using a segmented, annotated MRI mouse atlas and computational analysis, patterns of integrated positive and negative BOLD activity were identified across 122 brain areas. The pattern of positive BOLD showed enhanced activation across the brain in WT mice within 15 min of intraperitoneal administration of 2.5 mg of OXY. BOLD activation was detected in 72 regions out of 122, and was most prominent in areas of high μ opioid receptor density (thalamus, ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, caudate putamen, basal amygdala, and hypothalamus), and focus on pain circuits indicated strong activation in major pain processing centers (central amygdala, solitary tract, parabrachial area, insular cortex, gigantocellularis area, ventral thalamus primary sensory cortex, and prelimbic cortex). Importantly, the OXY-induced positive BOLD was eliminated in MuKO mice in most regions, with few exceptions (some cerebellar nuclei, CA3 of the hippocampus, medial amygdala, and preoptic areas). This result indicates that most effects of OXY on positive BOLD are mediated by the μ opioid receptor (on-target effects). OXY also caused an increase in negative BOLD in WT mice in few regions (16 out of 122) and, unlike the positive BOLD response the negative BOLD was only partially eliminated in the MuKO mice (cerebellum), and in some case intensified (hippocampus). Negative BOLD analysis therefore shows activation and deactivation events in the absence of the μ receptor for some areas where receptor expression is normally extremely low or absent (off-target effects). Together, our approach permits establishing opioid-induced BOLD activation maps in awake mice. In addition, comparison of WT and MuKO mutant mice reveals both on-target and off-target activation events, and set an OXY brain

  3. Opioid receptors: toward separation of analgesic from undesirable effects.

    PubMed

    Law, Ping-Yee; Reggio, Patricia H; Loh, Horace H

    2013-06-01

    The use of opioid analgesics for pain has always been hampered by their many side effects; in particular, the addictive liability associated with chronic use. Recently, attempts to develop analgesic agents with reduced side effects have targeted either the putative opioid receptor splice variants or the receptor hetero-oligomers. This review discusses the potential for receptor splice variant- and the hetero-oligomer-based discovery of new opioid analgesics. We also examine an alternative approach of using receptor mutants for pain management. Finally, we discuss the role of the biased agonism observed and the recently reported opioid receptor crystal structures in guiding the future development of opioid analgesics.

  4. Dark chocolate receptors: epicatechin-induced cardiac protection is dependent on δ-opioid receptor stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Panneerselvam, Mathivadhani; Tsutsumi, Yasuo M.; Bonds, Jacqueline A.; Horikawa, Yousuke T.; Saldana, Michelle; Dalton, Nancy D.; Head, Brian P.; Patel, Piyush M.; Roth, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Epicatechin, a flavonoid, is a well-known antioxidant linked to a variety of protective effects in both humans and animals. In particular, its role in protection against cardiovascular disease has been demonstrated by epidemiologic studies. Low-dose epicatechin, which does not have significant antioxidant activity, is also protective; however, the mechanism by which low-dose epicatechin induces this effect is unknown. Our laboratory tested the hypothesis that low-dose epicatechin mediates cardiac protection via opioid receptor activation. C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to 1 of 10 groups: control, epicatechin, naloxone (nonselective opioid receptor antagonist), epicatechin + naloxone, naltrindole (δ-specific opioid receptor antagonist), epicatechin + naltrindole, norbinaltorphimine (nor-BNI, κ-specific opioid receptor antagonist), epicatechin + nor-BNI, 5-hydroxydecanoic acid [5-HD, ATP-sensitive potassium channel antagonist], and epicatechin + 5-HD. Epicatechin (1 mg/kg) or other inhibitors (5 mg/kg) were administered by oral gavage or intraperitoneal injection, respectively, daily for 10 days. Mice were subjected to 30 min coronary artery occlusion followed by 2 h of reperfusion, and infarct size was determined via planimetry. Whole heart homogenates were assayed for downstream opioid receptor signaling targets. Infarct size was significantly reduced in epicatechin- and epicatechin + nor-BNI-treated mice compared with control mice. This protection was blocked by naloxone, naltrindole, and 5-HD. Epicatechin and epicatechin + nor-BNI increased the phosphorylation of Src, Akt, and IκBα, while simultaneously decreasing the expression of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and caspase-activated DNase. All signaling effects are consistent with opioid receptor stimulation and subsequent cardiac protection. Naloxone, naltrindole, and 5-HD attenuated these effects. In conclusion, epicatechin acts via opioid receptors and more specifically through the δ-opioid receptor to

  5. Ignavine: a novel allosteric modulator of the μ opioid receptor

    PubMed Central

    Ohbuchi, Katsuya; Miyagi, Chika; Suzuki, Yasuyuki; Mizuhara, Yasuharu; Mizuno, Keita; Omiya, Yuji; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Warabi, Eiji; Sudo, Yuka; Yokoyama, Akinobu; Miyano, Kanako; Hirokawa, Takatsugu; Uezono, Yasuhito

    2016-01-01

    Processed Aconiti tuber (PAT) is used to treat pain associated with various disorders. Although it has been demonstrated that the κ opioid receptor (KOR) signaling pathway is a mediator of the analgesic effect of PAT, active components affecting opioid signaling have not yet been identified. In this study, we explored candidate components of PAT by pharmacokinetic analysis and identified ignavine, which is a different structure from aconitine alkaloids. A receptor binding assay of opioid receptors showed that ignavine specifically binds the μ opioid receptor (MOR), not the KOR. Receptor internalization assay in MOR-expressing cell lines revealed that ignavine augmented the responses produced by D-Ala(2)-N-Me-Phe(4)-Gly-ol(5)-enkephalin (DAMGO), a representative MOR agonist, at a low concentration and inhibited it at a higher concentration. Ignavine also exerted positive modulatory activity for DAMGO, endomorphin-1 and morphine in cAMP assay. Additionally, ignavine alone showed an analgesic effect in vivo. In silico simulation analysis suggested that ignavine would induce a unique structural change distinguished from those induced by a representative MOR agonist and antagonist. These data collectively suggest the possibility that ignavine could be a novel allosteric modulator of the MOR. The present results may open the way for the development of a novel pain management strategy. PMID:27530869

  6. Role of the mu opioid receptor in opioid modulation of immune function

    PubMed Central

    Ninković, Jana; Roy, Sabita

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Endogenous opioids are synthesized in vivo in order to modulate pain mechanisms and inflammatory pathways. Endogenous and exogenous opioids mediate analgesia in response to painful stimuli by binding to opioid receptors on neuronal cells. However, wide distribution of opioid receptors on tissues and organ systems outside the CNS, such as the cells of the immune system, indicate that opioids are capable of exerting additional effects in the periphery, such as immunomodulation. The increased prevalence of infections in opioid abusers based epidemiological studies further highlights the immunosuppressive effects of opioids. In spite of their many debilitating side effects, prescription opioids remain a gold standard for treatment of chronic pain. Therefore, given the prevalence of opioid use and abuse, opioid mediated immune suppression presents a serious concern in our society today. It is imperative to understand the mechanisms by which exogenous opioids modulate immune processes. In this review we will discuss the role of opioid receptors and their ligands in mediating immune suppressive functions. We will summarize recent studies on direct and indirect opioid modulation of the cells of the immune system as well as the role of opioids in exacerbation of certain disease states. PMID:22170499

  7. Activation of μ-opioid receptors inhibits calcium-currents in the vestibular afferent neurons of the rat through a cAMP dependent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Seseña, Emmanuel; Vega, Rosario; Soto, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Opioid receptors are expressed in the vestibular endorgans (afferent neurons and hair cells) and are activated by the efferent system, which modulates the discharge of action potentials in vestibular afferent neurons (VANs). In mammals, VANs mainly express the μ opioid-receptor, but the function of this receptors activation and the cellular mechanisms by which they exert their actions in these neurons are poorly studied. To determine the actions of μ opioid receptor (MOR) and cell signaling mechanisms in VANs, we made perforated patch-clamp recordings of VANs that were obtained from postnatal days 7 to 10 (P7–10) rats and then maintained in primary culture. The MOR agonist [D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly5-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) inhibited the total voltage-gated outward current; this effect was prevented by the perfusion of a Ca2+-free extracellular solution. We then studied the voltage-gated calcium current (Ica) and found that DAMGO Met-enkephalin or endomorphin-1 inhibited the ICa in a dose-response fashion. The effects of DAMGO were prevented by the MOR antagonist (CTAP) or by pertussis toxin (PTX). The use of specific calcium channel blockers showed that MOR activation inhibited T-, L- and N-type ICa. The use of various enzyme activators and inhibitors and of cAMP analogs allowed us to demonstrate that the MOR acts through a cAMP dependent signaling mechanism. In current clamp experiments, MOR activation increased the duration and decreased the amplitude of the action potentials and modulated the discharge produced by current injection. Pre-incubation with PTX occluded MOR activation effect. We conclude that MOR activation inhibits the T-, L- and N-type ICa through activation of a Gαi/o protein that involves a decrease in AC-cAMP-PKA activity. The modulation of ICa may have an impact on the synaptic integration, excitability, and neurotransmitter release from VANs. PMID:24734002

  8. Naloxone's pentapeptide binding site on filamin A blocks Mu opioid receptor-Gs coupling and CREB activation of acute morphine.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hoau-Yan; Burns, Lindsay H

    2009-01-01

    Chronic morphine causes the mu opioid receptor (MOR) to switch its coupling from Gi/o to Gs, resulting in excitatory signaling via both Galphas and its Gbetagamma dimer. Ultra-low-dose naloxone (NLX) prevents this switch and attenuates opioid tolerance and dependence. This protective effect is mediated via a high-affinity interaction of NLX to a pentapeptide region in c-terminal filamin A (FLNA), a scaffolding protein interacting with MOR. In organotypic striatal slice cultures, we now show that acute morphine induces a dose-dependent Go-to-Gs coupling switch at 5 and 15 min that resolves by 1 hr. The acute Gs coupling induced by 100 microM morphine was completely prevented by co-treatment with 100 pM NLX, (+)NLX, or naltrexone (NTX), or their pentapeptide binding site (FLNA(2561-2565)), which we show can act as a decoy for MOR or bind to FLNA itself. All of these co-treatments presumably prevent the MOR-FLNA interaction. Since ultra-low-dose NTX also attenuates the addictive properties of opioids, we assessed striatal cAMP production and CREB phosphorylation at S(133). Correlating with the Gs coupling, acute morphine induced elevated cAMP levels and a several-fold increase in pS(133)CREB that were also completely blocked by NLX, NTX or the FLNA pentapeptide. We propose that acute, robust stimulation of MOR causes an interaction with FLNA that allows an initially transient MOR-Gs coupling, which recovers with receptor recycling but persists when MOR stimulation is repeated or prolonged. The complete prevention of this acute, morphine-induced MOR-Gs coupling by 100 pM NLX/NTX or 10 microM pentapeptide segment of FLNA further elucidates both MOR signaling and the mechanism of action of ultra-low-dose NLX or NTX in attenuating opioid tolerance, dependence and addictive potential.

  9. Peripheral δ-opioid receptors attenuate the exercise pressor reflex.

    PubMed

    Leal, Anna K; Yamauchi, Katsuya; Kim, Joyce; Ruiz-Velasco, Victor; Kaufman, Marc P

    2013-10-15

    In rats with ligated femoral arteries, the exercise pressor reflex is exaggerated, an effect that is attenuated by stimulation of peripheral μ-opioid receptors on group IV metabosensitive afferents. In contrast, δ-opioid receptors are expressed mostly on group III mechanosensitive afferents, a finding that prompted us to determine whether stimulation of these opioid receptors could also attenuate the exaggerated exercise pressor reflex in "ligated" rats. We found femoral arterial injection of [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE; 1.0 μg), a δ-opioid agonist, significantly attenuated the pressor and cardioaccelerator components of the exercise pressor reflex evoked by hindlimb muscle contraction in both rats with ligated and patent femoral arteries. DPDPE significantly decreased the pressor responses to muscle mechanoreflex activation, evoked by tendon stretch, in ligated rats only. DPDPE (1.0 μg) had no effect in either group on the pressor and cardioaccelerator responses to capsaicin (0.2 μg), which primarily stimulates group IV afferents. DPDPE (1.0 μg) had no effect on the pressor and cardioaccelerator responses to lactic acid (24 mM), which stimulates group III and IV afferents, in rats with patent femoral arteries but significantly decreased the pressor response in ligated rats. Western blots revealed the amount of protein comprising the δ-opioid receptor was greater in dorsal root ganglia innervating hindlimbs with ligated femoral arteries than in dorsal root ganglia innervating hindlimbs with patent femoral arteries. Our findings support the hypothesis that stimulation of δ-opioid receptors on group III afferents attenuated the exercise pressor reflex.

  10. Peripheral δ-opioid receptors attenuate the exercise pressor reflex

    PubMed Central

    Yamauchi, Katsuya; Kim, Joyce; Ruiz-Velasco, Victor; Kaufman, Marc P.

    2013-01-01

    In rats with ligated femoral arteries, the exercise pressor reflex is exaggerated, an effect that is attenuated by stimulation of peripheral μ-opioid receptors on group IV metabosensitive afferents. In contrast, δ-opioid receptors are expressed mostly on group III mechanosensitive afferents, a finding that prompted us to determine whether stimulation of these opioid receptors could also attenuate the exaggerated exercise pressor reflex in “ligated” rats. We found femoral arterial injection of [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE; 1.0 μg), a δ-opioid agonist, significantly attenuated the pressor and cardioaccelerator components of the exercise pressor reflex evoked by hindlimb muscle contraction in both rats with ligated and patent femoral arteries. DPDPE significantly decreased the pressor responses to muscle mechanoreflex activation, evoked by tendon stretch, in ligated rats only. DPDPE (1.0 μg) had no effect in either group on the pressor and cardioaccelerator responses to capsaicin (0.2 μg), which primarily stimulates group IV afferents. DPDPE (1.0 μg) had no effect on the pressor and cardioaccelerator responses to lactic acid (24 mM), which stimulates group III and IV afferents, in rats with patent femoral arteries but significantly decreased the pressor response in ligated rats. Western blots revealed the amount of protein comprising the δ-opioid receptor was greater in dorsal root ganglia innervating hindlimbs with ligated femoral arteries than in dorsal root ganglia innervating hindlimbs with patent femoral arteries. Our findings support the hypothesis that stimulation of δ-opioid receptors on group III afferents attenuated the exercise pressor reflex. PMID:23934854

  11. Relative Timing Between Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Cocaine Determines the Impact on Reward and Dopamine Release.

    PubMed

    Chartoff, Elena H; Ebner, Shayla R; Sparrow, Angela; Potter, David; Baker, Phillip M; Ragozzino, Michael E; Roitman, Mitchell F

    2016-03-01

    Negative affective states can increase the rewarding value of drugs of abuse and promote drug taking. Chronic cocaine exposure increases levels of the neuropeptide dynorphin, an endogenous ligand at kappa opioid receptors (KOR) that suppresses dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and elicits negative affective states upon drug withdrawal. However, there is evidence that the effects of KOR activation on affective state are biphasic: immediate aversive effects are followed by delayed increases in reward. The impact of KOR-induced affective states on reward-related effects of cocaine over time is not known. We hypothesize that the initial aversive effects of KOR activation increase, whereas the delayed rewarding effects decrease, the net effects of cocaine on reward and dopamine release. We treated rats with cocaine at various times (15 min to 48 h) after administration of the selective KOR agonist salvinorin A (salvA). Using intracranial self-stimulation and fast scan cyclic voltammetry, we found that cocaine-induced increases in brain stimulation reward and evoked dopamine release in the NAc core were potentiated when cocaine was administered within 1 h of salvA, but attenuated when administered 24 h after salvA. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to show that KOR and prodynorphin mRNA levels were decreased in the NAc, whereas tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter mRNA levels and tissue dopamine content were increased in the ventral tegmental area 24 h post-salvA. These findings raise the possibility that KOR activation-as occurs upon withdrawal from chronic cocaine-modulates vulnerability to cocaine in a time-dependent manner.

  12. Relative Timing Between Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Cocaine Determines the Impact on Reward and Dopamine Release

    PubMed Central

    Chartoff, Elena H; Ebner, Shayla R; Sparrow, Angela; Potter, David; Baker, Phillip M; Ragozzino, Michael E; Roitman, Mitchell F

    2016-01-01

    Negative affective states can increase the rewarding value of drugs of abuse and promote drug taking. Chronic cocaine exposure increases levels of the neuropeptide dynorphin, an endogenous ligand at kappa opioid receptors (KOR) that suppresses dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and elicits negative affective states upon drug withdrawal. However, there is evidence that the effects of KOR activation on affective state are biphasic: immediate aversive effects are followed by delayed increases in reward. The impact of KOR-induced affective states on reward-related effects of cocaine over time is not known. We hypothesize that the initial aversive effects of KOR activation increase, whereas the delayed rewarding effects decrease, the net effects of cocaine on reward and dopamine release. We treated rats with cocaine at various times (15 min to 48 h) after administration of the selective KOR agonist salvinorin A (salvA). Using intracranial self-stimulation and fast scan cyclic voltammetry, we found that cocaine-induced increases in brain stimulation reward and evoked dopamine release in the NAc core were potentiated when cocaine was administered within 1 h of salvA, but attenuated when administered 24 h after salvA. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to show that KOR and prodynorphin mRNA levels were decreased in the NAc, whereas tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter mRNA levels and tissue dopamine content were increased in the ventral tegmental area 24 h post-salvA. These findings raise the possibility that KOR activation—as occurs upon withdrawal from chronic cocaine—modulates vulnerability to cocaine in a time-dependent manner. PMID:26239494

  13. Opioid receptors: distinct roles in mood disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Pierre-Eric; Kieffer, Brigitte L.

    2012-01-01

    The roles of opioid receptors in pain and addiction have been extensively studied, but their function in mood disorders has received less attention. Accumulating evidence from animal research reveal that mu, delta and kappa opioid receptors (MORs, DORs and KORs, respectively) exert highly distinct controls over mood-related processes. DOR agonists and KOR antagonists have promising antidepressant potential, whereas the risk-benefit ratio of currently available MOR agonists as antidepressants remain difficult to evaluate, in addition to their inherent abuse liability. At present, both human and animal studies have mainly examined MORs in the etiology of depressive disorders, and future studies will address delta and kappa receptor function in established and emerging neurobiological aspects of depression, including neurogenesis, neurodevelopment and social behaviors. PMID:23219016

  14. Tyrosine phosphorylation of Kir3 following kappa-opioid receptor activation of p38 MAPK causes heterologous desensitization.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Cecilea C; Xu, Mei; Chavkin, Charles

    2009-11-13

    Prior studies showed that tyrosine 12 phosphorylation in the N-terminal, cytoplasmic domain of the G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channel, K(ir)3.1 facilitates channel deactivation by increasing intrinsic GTPase activity of the channel. Using a phosphoselective antibody directed against this residue (pY12), we now report that partial sciatic nerve ligation increased pY12-K(ir)3.1-immunoreactivity (ir) in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of wild-type mice, but not in mice lacking the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) or lacking the G-protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) genes. Treatment of AtT-20 cells stably expressing KOR-GFP with the selective KOR agonist U50,488 increased both phospho-p38-ir and pY12-K(ir)3.1-ir. The U50,488-induced increase in pY12-K(ir)3.1-ir was blocked by the p38 inhibitor SB203580. Cells expressing KOR(S369A)-GFP did not increase either phospho-p38-ir or pY12-K(ir)3.1-ir following U50,488 treatment. Whole cell voltage clamp of AtT-20 cells expressing KOR-GFP demonstrated that p38 activation by U50,488 reduced somatostatin-evoked K(ir)3 currents. This heterologous desensitization was blocked by SB203580 and was not evident in cells expressing KOR(S369A)-GFP. Tyrosine phosphorylation of K(ir)3.1 was likely mediated by p38 MAPK activation of Src kinase. U50,488 also increased (pY418)Src-ir; this increase was blocked by SB203580 and not evident in KOR(S369A)-GFP expressing AtT20 cells; the Src inhibitor PP2 blocked the U50,488-induced increase in pY12-K(ir)3.1-ir; and the heterologous desensitization of K(ir)3 currents was blocked by PP2. These results suggest that KOR causes phosphorylation of Y12-K(ir)3.1 and channel inhibition through a GRK3-, p38 MAPK- and Src-dependent mechanism. Reduced inward potassium current following nerve ligation would increase dorsal horn neuronal excitability and may contribute to the neuropathic pain response.

  15. Lobeline, a potential pharmacotherapy for drug addiction, binds to mu opioid receptors and diminishes the effects of opioid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Miller, Dennis K; Lever, John R; Rodvelt, Kelli R; Baskett, James A; Will, Matthew J; Kracke, George R

    2007-07-10

    Lobeline diminishes the behavioral and neurochemical effects of nicotine and amphetamines, and is considered a potential pharmacotherapy for drug abuse and addiction. Lobeline has high affinity for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and inhibits the function of vesicular monoamine and dopamine transporters. The present study investigated the less-explored interaction of lobeline and the endogenous opioid system. In guinea pig brain homogenates, lobeline displaced (K(i)=0.74 microM) the binding of [(3)H]DAMGO [(D-Ala(2), N-ME-Phe(4), Gly(5)-ol)-enkephalin]. In a functional assay system comprised of MOR-1 mu opioid receptors and GIRK2 potassium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes, lobeline had no effect on the resting current, but maximally inhibited (IC(50)=1.1 microM) morphine- and DAMGO-activated potassium current in a concentration-dependent manner. In a second functional assay, lobeline-evoked [(3)H]overflow from rat striatal slices preloaded with [(3)H]dopamine was not blocked by naltrexone. Importantly, concentrations of lobeline (0.1-0.3 microM) that did not have intrinsic activity attenuated ( approximately 50%) morphine-evoked [(3)H]overflow. Overall, the results suggest that lobeline functions as a mu opioid receptor antagonist. The ability of lobeline to block psychostimulant effects may be mediated by opioid receptor antagonism, and lobeline could be investigated as a treatment for opiate addiction.

  16. Engagement of signaling pathways of protease-activated receptor 2 and μ-opioid receptor in bone cancer pain and morphine tolerance.

    PubMed

    Bao, Yanju; Gao, Yebo; Hou, Wei; Yang, Liping; Kong, Xiangying; Zheng, Honggang; Li, Conghuang; Hua, Baojin

    2015-09-15

    Pain is one of the most common and distressing symptoms suffered by patients with progression of cancer. Using a rat model of bone cancer, recent findings suggest that proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) signaling pathways contribute to neuropathic pain and blocking PAR2 amplifies antinociceptive effects of systemic morphine. The purpose of our study was to examine the underlying mechanisms responsible for the role of PAR2 in regulating bone cancer-evoked pain and the tolerance of systemic morphine. Breast sarcocarcinoma Walker 256 cells were implanted into the tibia bone cavity of rats and this evoked significant mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. Our results showed that the protein expression of PAR2 and its downstream pathways (protein kinases namely, PKCε and PKA) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) were amplified in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord of bone cancer rats compared to control rats. Blocking spinal PAR2 by using FSLLRY-NH2 significantly attenuated the activities of PKCε/PKA signaling pathways and TRPV1 expression as well as mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. Also, inhibition of PKCε/PKA and TRPV1 significantly diminished the hyperalgesia observed in bone cancer rats. Additionally, blocking PAR2 enhanced the attenuations of PKCε/PKA and cyclic adenosine monophosphate induced by morphine and further extended analgesia of morphine via μ-opioid receptor (MOR). Our data revealed specific signaling pathways, leading to bone cancer pain, including the activation of PAR2, downstream PKCε/PKA, TRPV1 and resultant sensitization of MOR. Targeting one or more of these signaling molecules may present new opportunities for treatment and management of bone cancer pain often observed in clinics.

  17. Kappa-opioid receptor-selective dicarboxylic ester-derived salvinorin A ligands.

    PubMed

    Polepally, Prabhakar R; White, Kate; Vardy, Eyal; Roth, Bryan L; Ferreira, Daneel; Zjawiony, Jordan K

    2013-05-15

    Salvinorin A, the active ingredient of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum is the most potent known naturally occurring hallucinogen and is a selective κ-opioid receptor agonist. To better understand the ligand-receptor interactions, a series of dicarboxylic ester-type of salvinorin A derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their binding affinity at κ-, δ- and μ-opioid receptors. Most of the analogues show high affinity to the κ-opioid receptor. Methyl malonyl derivative 4 shows the highest binding affinity (Ki=2nM), analogues 5, 7, and 14 exhibit significant affinity for the κ-receptor (Ki=21, 36 and 39nM).

  18. Kappa-Opioid Receptor-Selective Dicarboxylic Ester-Derived Salvinorin A Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Polepally, Prabhakar R.; White, Kate; Vardy, Eyal; Roth, Bryan L.; Ferreira, Daneel; Zjawiony, Jordan K.

    2013-01-01

    Salvinorin A, the active ingredient of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum is the most potent known naturally occurring hallucinogen and is a selective κ-opioid receptor agonist. To better understand the ligand-receptor interactions, a series of dicarboxylic ester-type of salvinorin A derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their binding affinity at κ, δ, and μ-opioid receptors. Most of the analogues show high affinity to the κ-opioid receptor. Methyl malonyl derivative 4 shows the highest binding affinity (Ki = 2 nM), analogues 5, 7, and 14 exhibit significant affinity for the κ-receptor (Ki = 21, 36 and 39 nM). PMID:23587424

  19. BU74, a complex oripavine derivative with potent kappa opioid receptor agonism and delayed opioid antagonism.

    PubMed

    Husbands, Stephen M; Neilan, Claire L; Broadbear, Jillian; Grundt, Peter; Breeden, Simon; Aceto, Mario D; Woods, James H; Lewis, John W; Traynor, John R

    2005-02-21

    In the search for opioid agonists with delayed antagonist actions as potential treatments for substance abuse, the bridged morphinan BU74 (17-cyclopropylmethyl-3-hydroxy-[5beta,7beta,3',5']-pyrrolidino-2'[S]-phenyl-7alpha-methyl-6,14-endoetheno morphinan) (3f) was synthesized. In isolated tissue and [35S]GTPgammaS opioid receptor functional assays BU74 was shown to be a potent long-lasting kappa opioid receptor agonist, delta opioid receptor partial agonist and mu opioid receptor antagonist. In antinociceptive tests in the mouse, BU74 showed high efficacy and potent kappa opioid receptor agonism. When its agonist action had waned BU74 became an antagonist of kappa and mu opioid receptor agonists in the tail flick assay and of delta, kappa and mu opioid receptor agonists in the acetic acid writhing assay. The slow onset, long-duration kappa opioid receptor agonist effects of BU74 suggests that it could be a lead compound for the discovery of a treatment for cocaine abuse.

  20. Delta opioid receptors in brain function and diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Paul Chu Sin; Kieffer, Brigitte L.

    2013-01-01

    Evidence that the delta opioid receptor (DOR) is an attractive target for the treatment of brain disorders has strengthened in recent years. This receptor is broadly expressed in the brain, binds endogenous opioid peptides, and shows as functional profile highly distinct from those of mu and kappa opioid receptors. Our knowledge of DOR function has enormously progressed from in vivo studies using pharmacological tools and genetic approaches. The important role of this receptor in reducing chronic pain has been extensively overviewed; therefore this review focuses on facets of delta receptor activity relevant to psychiatric and other neurological disorders. Beneficial effects of DOR agonists are now well established in the context of emotional responses and mood disorders. DOR activation also regulates drug reward, inhibitory controls and learning processes, but whether delta compounds may represent useful drugs in the treatment of drug abuse remains open. Epileptogenic and locomotor-stimulating effects of delta agonists appear drug-dependent, and the possibility of biased agonism at DOR for these effects is worthwhile further investigations to increase benefit/risk ratio of delta therapies. Neuroprotective effects of DOR activity represent a forthcoming research area. Future developments in DOR research will benefit from in-depth investigations of DOR function at cellular and circuit levels. PMID:23764370

  1. Methylnaltrexone, a novel peripheral opioid receptor antagonist for the treatment of opioid side effects.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Chun-Su; Israel, Robert J

    2006-05-01

    Methylnaltrexone is an investigational peripheral opioid receptor antagonist, a quaternary derivative of naltrexone. Methylnaltrexone has greater polarity and lower lipid solubility, thus it does not cross the blood-brain barrier in humans. Methylnaltrexone offers the therapeutic potential to block or reverse the undesired side effects of opioids that are mediated by receptors located in the periphery (e.g., in the gastrointestinal tract), without affecting analgesia or precipitating the opioid withdrawal symptoms that are predominantly mediated by receptors in the CNS. This article reviews preclinical studies and clinical opioid bowel dysfunction trial data, and briefly discusses other potential roles of this compound in clinical practice.

  2. The mu opioid receptor: A new target for cancer therapy?

    PubMed

    Singleton, Patrick A; Moss, Jonathan; Karp, Daniel D; Atkins, Johnique T; Janku, Filip

    2015-08-15

    Mu opioids are among the most widely used drugs for patients with cancer with both acute and chronic pain as well as in the perioperative period. Several retrospective studies have suggested that opioid use might promote tumor progression and as a result negatively impact survival in patients with advanced cancer; however, in the absence of appropriate prospective validation, any changes in recommendations for opioid use are not warranted. In this review, the authors present preclinical and clinical data that support their hypothesis that the mu opioid receptor is a potential target for cancer therapy because of its plausible role in tumor progression. The authors also propose the hypothesis that peripheral opioid antagonists such as methylnaltrexone, which reverses the peripheral effects of mu opioids but maintains centrally mediated analgesia and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation, can be used to target the mu opioid receptor.

  3. Activation of κ Opioid Receptors in Cutaneous Nerve Endings by Conorphin-1, a Novel Subtype-Selective Conopeptide, Does Not Mediate Peripheral Analgesia.

    PubMed

    Deuis, Jennifer R; Whately, Ella; Brust, Andreas; Inserra, Marco C; Asvadi, Naghmeh H; Lewis, Richard J; Alewood, Paul F; Cabot, Peter J; Vetter, Irina

    2015-10-21

    Selective activation of peripheral κ opioid receptors (KORs) may overcome the dose-limiting adverse effects of conventional opioid analgesics. We recently developed a vicinal disulfide-stabilized class of peptides with subnanomolar potency at the KOR. The aim of this study was to assess the analgesic effects of one of these peptides, named conorphin-1, in comparison with the prototypical KOR-selective small molecule agonist U-50488, in several rodent pain models. Surprisingly, neither conorphin-1 nor U-50488 were analgesic when delivered peripherally by intraplantar injection at local concentrations expected to fully activate the KOR at cutaneous nerve endings. While U-50488 was analgesic when delivered at high local concentrations, this effect could not be reversed by coadministration with the selective KOR antagonist ML190 or the nonselective opioid antagonist naloxone. Instead, U-50488 likely mediated its peripheral analgesic effect through nonselective inhibition of voltage-gated sodium channels, including peripheral sensory neuron isoforms NaV1.8 and NaV1.7. Our study suggests that targeting the KOR in peripheral sensory nerve endings innervating the skin is not an alternative analgesic approach.

  4. Recent developments in the study of opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Cox, Brian M

    2013-04-01

    It is now about 40 years since Avram Goldstein proposed the use of the stereoselectivity of opioid receptors to identify these receptors in neural membranes. In 2012, the crystal structures of the four members of the opioid receptor family were reported, providing a structural basis for understanding of critical features affecting the actions of opiate drugs. This minireview summarizes these recent developments in our understanding of opiate receptors. Receptor function is also influenced by amino acid substitutions in the protein sequence. Among opioid receptor genes, one polymorphism is much more frequent in human populations than the many others that have been found, but the functional significance of this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been unclear. Recent studies have shed new light on how this SNP might influence opioid receptor function. In this minireview, the functional significance of the most prevalent genetic polymorphism among the opioid receptor genes is also considered.

  5. Continuous delta opioid receptor activation reduces neuronal voltage gated sodium channel (NaV1.7) levels through activation of protein kinase C in painful diabetic neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Chattopadhyay, Munmun; Mata, Marina; Fink, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The NaV1.7 tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channel isoform plays a critical role in nociception. In rodent models of diabetic neuropathy, increased NaV1.7 in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons correlates with the emergence of pain-related behaviors characteristic of painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN). We examined the effect of transgene-mediated expression of enkephalin on pain-related behaviors and their biochemical correlates in DRG neurons. Transfection of DRG neurons by subcutaneous inoculation of a herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based vector expressing proenkephalin (PE) reversed nocisponsive behavioral responses to heat, cold, and mechanical pressure characteristic of PDN. Vector-mediated enkephalin production in vivo prevented the increase in DRG NaV1.7 observed in PDN, an effect that correlated with inhibition of phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase and protein kinase C (PKC). Primary DRG neurons in vitro exposed to 45 mM glucose for 18 hrs also demonstrated an increase in NaV1.7 and increased phosphorylation of p38 and PKC; these changes were prevented by transfection in vitro with the enkephalin-expressing vector. The effect of hyperglycemia on NaV1.7 production in vitro was mimicked by exposure to PMA, and blocked by the myristolated PKC inhibitor 20–28 or the p38 inhibitor SB202190; the effect of vector-mediated enkephalin on NaV1.7 levels was prevented by naltrindole. The results of these studies suggest that activation of the presynaptic delta opioid receptor by enkephalin prevents the increase in neuronal NaV1.7 in DRG through inhibition of PKC and p38. These results establish a novel interaction between the delta opioid receptor and voltage gated sodium channels. PMID:18579738

  6. Molecular Docking, Molecular Dynamics, and Structure-Activity Relationship Explorations of 14-Oxygenated N-Methylmorphinan-6-ones as Potent μ-Opioid Receptor Agonists.

    PubMed

    Noha, Stefan M; Schmidhammer, Helmut; Spetea, Mariana

    2017-02-09

    Among opioids, morphinans are of major importance as the most effective analgesic drugs acting primarily via μ-opioid receptor (μ-OR) activation. Our long-standing efforts in the field of opioid analgesics from the class of morphinans led to N-methylmorphinan-6-ones differently substituted at positions 5 and 14 as μ-OR agonists inducing potent analgesia and fewer undesirable effects. Herein we present the first thorough molecular modeling study and structure-activity relationship (SAR) explorations aided by docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of 14-oxygenated N-methylmorphinan-6-ones to gain insights into their mode of binding to the μ-OR and interaction mechanisms. The structure of activated μ-OR provides an essential model for how ligand/μ-OR binding is encoded within small chemical differences in otherwise structurally similar morphinans. We reveal important molecular interactions that these μ-agonists share and distinguish them. The molecular docking outcomes indicate the crucial role of the relative orientation of the ligand in the μ-OR binding site, influencing the propensity of critical non-covalent interactions that are required to facilitate ligand/μ-OR interactions and receptor activation. The MD simulations point out minor differences in the tendency to form hydrogen bonds by the 4,5α-epoxy group, along with the tendency to affect the 3-7 lock switch. The emerged SARs reveal the subtle interplay between the substituents at positions 5 and 14 in the morphinan scaffold by enabling the identification of key structural elements that determine the distinct pharmacological profiles. This study provides a significant structural basis for understanding ligand binding and μ-OR activation by the 14-oxygenated N-methylmorphinan-6-ones, which should be useful for guiding drug design.

  7. A role for kappa-, but not mu-opioid, receptor activation in acute food deprivation-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking in rats.

    PubMed

    Sedki, Firas; Eigenmann, Karine; Gelinas, Jessica; Schouela, Nicholas; Courchesne, Shannon; Shalev, Uri

    2015-05-01

    Stress is considered to be one of the major triggers to drug relapse, even after prolonged periods of abstinence. In rats, the activation of stress-related brain systems, including corticotropin-releasing factor and norepinephrine, is critical for stress-induced reinstatement of extinguished drug seeking, an animal model for drug relapse. In addition, there are strong indications that activation of the endogenous opioid system is important for the effects of stress on drug seeking. More specifically, activation of the dynorphin/kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system is critically involved in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking following exposure to stressors, such as footshock, forced swimming or social stress. However, studies on the role of the dynorphin/KOR system in stress-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking are scarce. Here, rats were trained to self-administer heroin (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) for 10 days. Drug seeking was then extinguished and the rats were tested for acute (21 hours) food deprivation-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. In two separate experiments, rats were injected with the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist, naltrexone (0.0, 1.0, 10.0 mg/kg; s.c.) or the KOR antagonist, norBNI (0.0, 1.0, 10.0 mg/kg; i.p.) before the reinstatement test. Naltrexone treatment did not affect stress-induced reinstatement. In contrast, treatment with norBNI dose-dependently attenuated food deprivation-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. These results support the hypothesis that activation of KOR, but not MOR, is critically involved in stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking.

  8. T394A Mutation at the μ Opioid Receptor Blocks Opioid Tolerance and Increases Vulnerability to Heroin Self-Administration in Mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Fei; Barbier, Elisabeth; Chiu, Yi-Ting; He, Yi; Zhan, Jia; Bi, Guo-Hua; Zhang, Hai-Ying; Feng, Bo; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan; Wang, Jia Bei; Xi, Zheng-Xiong

    2016-10-05

    The etiology and pathophysiology underlying opioid tolerance and dependence are still unknown. Because mu opioid receptor (MOR) plays an essential role in opioid action, many vulnerability-related studies have focused on single nucleotide polymorphisms of MOR, particularly on A118G. In this study, we found that a single-point mutation at the MOR T394 phosphorylation site could be another important susceptive factor in the development of opioid tolerance and dependence in mice. T394A mutation, in which a threonine at 394 was replaced by an alanine, did not alter agonist binding to MOR and opioid analgesia, but resulted in loss of etorphine-induced MOR internalization in spinal dorsal horn neurons and opioid analgesic tolerance induced by either morphine or etorphine. In addition, this mutation also caused an increase in intravenous heroin self-administration and in nucleus accumbens dopamine response to heroin. These findings suggest that T394 phosphorylation following MOR activation causes MOR internalization and desensitization, which subsequently contributes to the development of tolerance in both opioid analgesia and opioid reward. Accordingly, T394A mutation blocks opioid tolerance and leads to an increase in brain dopamine response to opioids and in opioid-taking behavior. Thus, the T394 may serve as a new drug target for modulating opioid tolerance and the development of opioid abuse and addiction.

  9. The opioid receptors as targets for drug abuse medication.

    PubMed

    Noble, Florence; Lenoir, Magalie; Marie, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    The endogenous opioid system is largely expressed in the brain, and both endogenous opioid peptides and receptors are present in areas associated with reward and motivation. It is well known that this endogenous system plays a key role in many aspects of addictive behaviours. The present review summarizes the modifications of the opioid system induced by chronic treatment with drugs of abuse reported in preclinical and clinical studies, as well as the action of opioid antagonists and agonists on the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, with therapeutic perspectives. We have focused on the effects of chronic psychostimulants, alcohol and nicotine exposure. Taken together, the changes in both opioid peptides and opioid receptors in different brain structures following acute or chronic exposure to these drugs of abuse clearly identify the opioid system as a potential target for the development of effective pharmacotherapy for the treatment of addiction and the prevention of relapse.

  10. The opioid receptors as targets for drug abuse medication

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Florence; Lenoir, Magalie; Marie, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    The endogenous opioid system is largely expressed in the brain, and both endogenous opioid peptides and receptors are present in areas associated with reward and motivation. It is well known that this endogenous system plays a key role in many aspects of addictive behaviours. The present review summarizes the modifications of the opioid system induced by chronic treatment with drugs of abuse reported in preclinical and clinical studies, as well as the action of opioid antagonists and agonists on the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, with therapeutic perspectives. We have focused on the effects of chronic psychostimulants, alcohol and nicotine exposure. Taken together, the changes in both opioid peptides and opioid receptors in different brain structures following acute or chronic exposure to these drugs of abuse clearly identify the opioid system as a potential target for the development of effective pharmacotherapy for the treatment of addiction and the prevention of relapse. PMID:25988826

  11. Mu Opioid Receptor Actions in the Lateral Habenula

    PubMed Central

    Margolis, Elyssa B.; Fields, Howard L.

    2016-01-01

    Increased activity of lateral habenula (LHb) neurons is correlated with aversive states including pain, opioid abstinence, rodent models of depression, and failure to receive a predicted reward. Agonists at the mu opioid receptor (MOR) are among the most powerful rewarding and pain relieving drugs. Injection of the MOR agonist morphine directly into the habenula produces analgesia, raising the possibility that MOR acts locally within the LHb. Consequently, we examined the synaptic actions of MOR agonists in the LHb using whole cell patch clamp recording. We found that the MOR selective agonist DAMGO inhibits a subset of LHb neurons both directly and by inhibiting glutamate release onto these cells. Paradoxically, DAMGO also presynaptically inhibited GABA release onto most LHb neurons. The behavioral effect of MOR activation will thus depend upon both the level of intrinsic neuronal activity in the LHb and the balance of activity in glutamate and GABA inputs to different LHb neuronal populations. PMID:27427945

  12. Ca2+ channel inhibition by endomorphins via the cloned mu-opioid receptor expressed in NG108-15 cells.

    PubMed

    Mima, H; Morikawa, H; Fukuda, K; Kato, S; Shoda, T; Mori, K

    1997-12-11

    Endomorphin-1 and -2, recently isolated endogenous peptides specific for the mu-opioid receptor, inhibited Ca2+ channel currents with EC50 of 6 and 9 nM, respectively, in NG108-15 cells transformed to express the cloned rat mu-opioid receptor. On the other hand, they elicited no response in nontransfected NG108-15 cells. It is concluded that endomorphin-1 and -2 induce Ca2+ channel inhibition by selectively activating the mu-opioid receptor.

  13. Does the kappa opioid receptor system contribute to pain aversion?

    PubMed

    Cahill, Catherine M; Taylor, Anna M W; Cook, Christopher; Ong, Edmund; Morón, Jose A; Evans, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    The kappa opioid receptor (KOR) and the endogenous peptide-ligand dynorphin have received significant attention due the involvement in mediating a variety of behavioral and neurophysiological responses, including opposing the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse including opioids. Accumulating evidence indicates this system is involved in regulating states of motivation and emotion. Acute activation of the KOR produces an increase in motivational behavior to escape a threat, however, KOR activation associated with chronic stress leads to the expression of symptoms indicative of mood disorders. It is well accepted that KOR can produce analgesia and is engaged in chronic pain states including neuropathic pain. Spinal studies have revealed KOR-induced analgesia in reversing pain hypersensitivities associated with peripheral nerve injury. While systemic administration of KOR agonists attenuates nociceptive sensory transmission, this effect appears to be a stress-induced effect as anxiolytic agents, including delta opioid receptor agonists, mitigate KOR agonist-induced analgesia. Additionally, while the role of KOR and dynorphin in driving the dysphoric and aversive components of stress and drug withdrawal has been well characterized, how this system mediates the negative emotional states associated with chronic pain is relatively unexplored. This review provides evidence that dynorphin and the KOR system contribute to the negative affective component of pain and that this receptor system likely contributes to the high comorbidity of mood disorders associated with chronic neuropathic pain.

  14. Does the kappa opioid receptor system contribute to pain aversion?

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Catherine M.; Taylor, Anna M. W.; Cook, Christopher; Ong, Edmund; Morón, Jose A.; Evans, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    The kappa opioid receptor (KOR) and the endogenous peptide-ligand dynorphin have received significant attention due the involvement in mediating a variety of behavioral and neurophysiological responses, including opposing the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse including opioids. Accumulating evidence indicates this system is involved in regulating states of motivation and emotion. Acute activation of the KOR produces an increase in motivational behavior to escape a threat, however, KOR activation associated with chronic stress leads to the expression of symptoms indicative of mood disorders. It is well accepted that KOR can produce analgesia and is engaged in chronic pain states including neuropathic pain. Spinal studies have revealed KOR-induced analgesia in reversing pain hypersensitivities associated with peripheral nerve injury. While systemic administration of KOR agonists attenuates nociceptive sensory transmission, this effect appears to be a stress-induced effect as anxiolytic agents, including delta opioid receptor agonists, mitigate KOR agonist-induced analgesia. Additionally, while the role of KOR and dynorphin in driving the dysphoric and aversive components of stress and drug withdrawal has been well characterized, how this system mediates the negative emotional states associated with chronic pain is relatively unexplored. This review provides evidence that dynorphin and the KOR system contribute to the negative affective component of pain and that this receptor system likely contributes to the high comorbidity of mood disorders associated with chronic neuropathic pain. PMID:25452729

  15. The most effective influence of 17-(3-ethoxypropyl) substituent on the binding affinity and the agonistic activity in KNT-127 derivatives, δ opioid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Toru; Ida, Yoshihiro; Iihara, Yusuke; Nakajima, Ryo; Hirayama, Shigeto; Iwai, Takashi; Fujii, Hideaki; Nagase, Hiroshi

    2013-12-15

    We investigated the structure-activity relationship of KNT-127 (opioid δ agonist) derivatives with various 17-substituents which are different in length and size. The 17-substituent in KNT-127 derivatives exerted a great influence on the affinity and agonistic activity for the δ receptor. While the compounds with electron-donating 17-substituents showed higher affinities for the δ receptor than those with electron-withdrawing groups, KNT-127 derivatives with 17-fluoroalkyl groups (the high electron-withdrawing groups) showed high selectivities for the δ receptor among evaluated compounds. In addition, the basicity of nitrogen as well as the structure of the 17-N substituent such as the length and configuration at an asymmetric carbon atom contributed to agonist properties for the δ receptor. Thus, the analog with a 17-(3-ethoxypropyl) group showed the best selectively and potent agonistic activity for the δ receptor among KNT-127 derivatives. These findings should be useful for designing novel δ selective agonists.

  16. Differentiation of δ, μ, and κ opioid receptor agonists based on pharmacophore development and computed physicochemical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filizola, Marta; Villar, Hugo O.; Loew, Gilda H.

    2001-04-01

    Compounds that bind with significant affinity to the opioid receptor types, δ, μ, and κ, with different combinations of activation and inhibition at these three receptors could be promising behaviorally selective agents. Working on this hypothesis, the chemical moieties common to three different sets of opioid receptor agonists with significant affinity for each of the three receptor types δ, μ, or κ were identified. Using a distance analysis approach, common geometric arrangements of these chemical moieties were found for selected δ, μ, or κ opioid agonists. The chemical and geometric commonalities among agonists at each opioid receptor type were then compared with a non-specific opioid recognition pharmacophore recently developed. The comparison provided identification of the additional requirements for activation of δ, μ, and κ opioid receptors. The distance analysis approach was able to clearly discriminate κ-agonists, while global molecular properties for all compounds were calculated to identify additional requirements for activation of δ and μ receptors. Comparisons of the combined geometric and physicochemical properties calculated for each of the three sets of agonists allowed the determination of unique requirements for activation of each of the three opioid receptors. These results can be used to improve the activation selectivity of known opioid agonists and as a guide for the identification of novel selective opioid ligands with potential therapeutic usefulness.

  17. Neurokinin 1 and opioid receptors: relationships and interactions in nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Jie; Zeng, Si; Wang, Xiangrui; Babazada, Hasan; Li, Zhanchun; Liu, Renyu; Yu, Weifeng

    2017-01-01

    Opioid receptors and neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) are found highly expressed in the central nervous system. The co-localization of these two kinds of receptors suggests that they might interact with each other in both the transmission and modulation of the pain signal. In this review, we explore the relationships between opioid receptors and NK1R. Substance P (SP) plays a modulatory role in the pain transmission by activating the NK1R. Opioid receptor activation can inhibit SP release. NK1R is found participating in the mechanisms of the side effects of the opioids, including opioid analgesic tolerance, hyperalgesia, anxiety behaviors of morphine reward and opioids related respiratory depression. A series of compounds such as NK1R antagonists and ligands works on both mu/delta opioid receptor (MOR/DOR) and NK1R were synthesized as novel analgesics that enhance the clinical pain management efficacy and reduce the dosage and side effects. The current status of these novel ligands and the limitations are discussed in this review. Although the working mechanisms of these ligands remained unclear, they could be used as research tool for developing novel analgesic drugs in the future.

  18. Structure of the [delta]-opioid receptor bound to naltrindole

    SciTech Connect

    Granier, Sébastien; Manglik, Aashish; Kruse, Andrew C.; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Weis, William I.; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2012-07-11

    The opioid receptor family comprises three members, the {mu}-, {delta}- and {kappa}-opioid receptors, which respond to classical opioid alkaloids such as morphine and heroin as well as to endogenous peptide ligands like endorphins. They belong to the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily, and are excellent therapeutic targets for pain control. The {delta}-opioid receptor ({delta}-OR) has a role in analgesia, as well as in other neurological functions that remain poorly understood. The structures of the {mu}-OR and {kappa}-OR have recently been solved. Here we report the crystal structure of the mouse {delta}-OR, bound to the subtype-selective antagonist naltrindole. Together with the structures of the {mu}-OR and {kappa}-OR, the {delta}-OR structure provides insights into conserved elements of opioid ligand recognition while also revealing structural features associated with ligand-subtype selectivity. The binding pocket of opioid receptors can be divided into two distinct regions. Whereas the lower part of this pocket is highly conserved among opioid receptors, the upper part contains divergent residues that confer subtype selectivity. This provides a structural explanation and validation for the 'message-address' model of opioid receptor pharmacology, in which distinct 'message' (efficacy) and 'address' (selectivity) determinants are contained within a single ligand. Comparison of the address region of the {delta}-OR with other GPCRs reveals that this structural organization may be a more general phenomenon, extending to other GPCR families as well.

  19. Short- and long-term regulation of adenylyl cyclase activity by delta-opioid receptor are mediated by Galphai2 in neuroblastoma N2A cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Tetrault, Joan; Wang, Wei; Loh, Horace H; Law, Ping-Yee

    2006-06-01

    Activation of the opioid receptor results in short-term inhibition of intracellular cAMP levels followed by receptor desensitization and subsequent increase of cAMP above the control level (adenylyl cyclase superactivation). Using adenovirus to deliver pertussis toxin-insensitive mutants of the alpha-subunits of G(i/o) that are expressed in neuroblastoma Neuro2A cells (Galpha(i2), Galpha(i3), and Galpha(o)), we examined the identities of the G proteins involved in the short- and long-term action of the delta-opioid receptor (DOR). Pertussis toxin pretreatment completely abolished the ability of [d-Pen(2), d-Pen(5)]-enkephalin (DPDPE) to inhibit forskolin-stimulated intracellular cAMP production. Expression of the C352L mutant of Galpha(i2), and not the C351L mutants of Galpha(i3) or Galpha(o), rescued the short-term effect of DPDPE after pertussis toxin treatment. The ability of Galpha(i2) in mediating DOR inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity was also reflected in the ability of Galpha(i2), not Galpha(i3) or Galpha(o), to coimmunoprecipitate with DOR. Coincidently, after long-term DPDPE treatment, pertussis toxin treatment eliminated the antagonist naloxone-induced superactivation of adenylyl cyclase activity. Again, only the C352L mutant of Galpha(i2) restored the adenylyl cyclase superactivation after pertussis toxin treatment. More importantly, the C352L mutant of Galpha(i2) remained associated with DOR after long-term agonist and pertussis toxin treatment whereas the wild-type Galpha(i2) did not. These data suggest that Galpha(i2) serves as the signaling molecule in both DOR-mediated short- and long-term regulation of adenylyl cyclase activity.

  20. Kappa-Opioid Receptors in the Caudal Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Mediate 100 Hz Electroacupuncture-Induced Sleep Activities in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Chiung-Hsiang; Yi, Pei-Lu; Chang, Han-Han; Tsai, Yi-Fong; Chang, Fang-Chia

    2012-01-01

    Previous results demonstrated that 10 Hz electroacupuncture (EA) of Anmian acupoints in rats during the dark period enhances slow wave sleep (SWS), which involves the induction of cholinergic activity in the caudal nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and subsequent activation of opioidergic neurons and μ-receptors. Studies have shown that different kinds of endogenous opiate peptides and receptors may mediate the consequences of EA with different frequencies. Herein, we further elucidated that high-frequency (100 Hz)-EA of Anmian enhanced SWS during the dark period but exhibited no direct effect on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. High-frequency EA-induced SWS enhancement was dose-dependently blocked by microinjection of naloxone or κ-receptor antagonist (nor-binaltorphimine) into the caudal NTS, but was affected neither by μ- (naloxonazine) nor δ-receptor antagonists (natatrindole), suggesting the role of NTS κ-receptors in the high-frequency EA-induced SWS enhancement. Current and previous results depict the opioid mechanisms of EA-induced sleep. PMID:22454676

  1. Opioid modulation of immunocompetence: Receptor characterization and second messenger involvement

    SciTech Connect

    Hemmick, L.M.

    1989-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis was to examine the effects of opioids on several indices of immunocompetence, determined the receptor specificity of these effects, and ascertain whether the actions of opioids on lymphocytes could be correlated with activation of second messenger systems. By measuring {sup 45}Ca{sup 2+} uptake into lymphocytes, it was demonstrated that {beta}-endorphin 1-31 ({beta}-END 1-31) enhanced rat thymocyte Ca{sup 2+} uptake in response to concanavalin A (Con A) but not phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Related opioid peptides and alkaloids were unable to mimic the effect, and naloxone did not block it, suggesting that {beta}-END 1-31 acted by binding to specific, non-opioid receptors on the thymocytes. Rat splenocyte Con A-stimulated Ca{sup 2+} uptake was not affected by {beta}-END 1-31. {beta}-END 1-31 did not affect basal Ca{sup 2+} uptake by either cell type. Using ({sup 3}H)thymidine uptake as an index of lymphocyte proliferation, {beta}-END 1-31 and several related opioid peptides reversed prostaglandin E{sub 1} (PGE{sub 1}) suppression of rat lymph node cell Con A- and PHA-stimulated proliferation. Naloxone did not block the reversal. {beta}-END 1-31 was unable to reverse forskolin and cholera toxin suppression of proliferation, indicating that the lowering of cyclic AMP levels was not the mechanism involved. Verapamil inhibition of proliferation was also not reversed by {beta}-END 1-31, suggesting that promotion of Ca{sup 2+} influx was not a major mechanism involved.

  2. Inhibition of opioid release in the rat spinal cord by α2C adrenergic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wenling; Song, Bingbing; Marvizón, Juan Carlos G.

    2008-01-01

    Neurotransmitter receptors that control the release of opioid peptides in the spinal cord may play an important role in pain modulation. Norepinephrine, released by a descending pathway originating in the brainstem, is a powerful inducer of analgesia in the spinal cord. Adrenergic α2C receptors are present in opioid-containing terminals in the dorsal horn, where they could modulate opioid release. The goal of this study was to investigate this possibility. Opioid release was evoked from rat spinal cord slices by incubating them with the sodium channel opener veratridine in the presence of peptidase inhibitors (actinonin, captopril and thiorphan), and was measured in situ through the internalization of μ-opioid receptors in dorsal horn neurons. Veratridine produced internalization in 70% of these neurons. The α2 receptor agonists clonidine, guanfacine, medetomidine and UK-14304 inhibited the evoked μ-opioid receptor internalization with IC50s of 1.7 μM, 248 nM, 0.3 nM and 22 nM, respectively. However, inhibition by medetomidine was only partial, and inhibition by UK-14304 reversed itself at concentrations higher than 50 nM. None of these agonists inhibited μ-opioid receptor internalization produced by endomorphin-2, showing that they inhibited opioid release and not the internalization itself. The inhibition produced by clonidine, guanfacine or UK-14304 was completely reversed by the selective α2C antagonist JP-1203. In contrast, inhibition by guanfacine was not prevented by the α2A antagonist BRL-44408. These results show that α2C receptors inhibit the release of opioids in the dorsal horn. This action may serve to shut down the opioid system when the adrenergic system is active. PMID:18343461

  3. Kappa-opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2009-01-01

    The dynorphin-like peptides have profound effects on the state of the brain reward system and human and animal behavior. The dynorphin-like peptides affect locomotor activity, food intake, sexual behavior, anxiety-like behavior, and drug intake. Stimulation of kappa-opioid receptors, the endogenous receptor for the dynorphin-like peptides, inhibits dopamine release in the striatum (nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen) and induces a negative mood state in humans and animals. The administration of drugs of abuse increases the release of dopamine in the striatum and mediates the concomitant release of dynorphin-like peptides in this brain region. The reviewed studies suggest that chronic drug intake leads to an upregulation of the brain dynorphin system in the striatum and in particular in the dorsal part of the striatum/caudate putamen. This might inhibit drug-induced dopamine release and provide protection against the neurotoxic effects of high dopamine levels. After the discontinuation of chronic drug intake these neuroadaptations remain unopposed which has been suggested to contribute to the negative emotional state associated with drug withdrawal and increased drug intake. Kappa-opioid receptor agonists have also been shown to inhibit calcium channels. Calcium channel inhibitors have antidepressant-like effects and inhibit the release of norepinephrine. This might explain that in some studies kappa-opioid receptor agonists attenuate nicotine and opioid withdrawal symptomatology. A better understanding of the role of dynorphins in the regulation of brain reward function might contribute to the development of novel treatments for mood disorders and other disorders that stem from a dysregulation of the brain reward system. PMID:19804796

  4. Nicotinic and opioid receptor regulation of striatal dopamine D2-receptor mediated transmission

    PubMed Central

    Mamaligas, Aphroditi A.; Cai, Yuan; Ford, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    In addition to dopamine neuron firing, cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) regulate dopamine release in the striatum via presynaptic nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) on dopamine axon terminals. Synchronous activity of ChIs is necessary to evoke dopamine release through this pathway. The frequency-dependence of disynaptic nicotinic modulation has led to the hypothesis that nAChRs act as a high-pass filter in the dopaminergic microcircuit. Here, we used optogenetics to selectively stimulate either ChIs or dopamine terminals directly in the striatum. To measure the functional consequence of dopamine release, D2-receptor synaptic activity was assessed via virally overexpressed potassium channels (GIRK2) in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). We found that nicotinic-mediated dopamine release was blunted at higher frequencies because nAChRs exhibit prolonged desensitization after a single pulse of synchronous ChI activity. However, when dopamine neurons alone were stimulated, nAChRs had no effect at any frequency. We further assessed how opioid receptors modulate these two mechanisms of release. Bath application of the κ opioid receptor agonist U69593 decreased D2-receptor activation through both pathways, whereas the μ opioid receptor agonist DAMGO decreased D2-receptor activity only as a result of cholinergic-mediated dopamine release. Thus the release of dopamine can be independently modulated when driven by either dopamine neurons or cholinergic interneurons. PMID:27886263

  5. Both Estrogen and Androgen Modify the Response to Activation of Neurokinin-3 and κ-Opioid Receptors in Arcuate Kisspeptin Neurons From Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ruka, Kristen A.; Burger, Laura L.

    2016-01-01

    Gonadal steroids regulate the pattern of GnRH secretion. Arcuate kisspeptin (kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and dynorphin [KNDy]) neurons may convey steroid feedback to GnRH neurons. KNDy neurons increase action potential firing upon the activation of neurokinin B receptors (neurokinin-3 receptor [NK3R]) and decrease firing upon the activation of dynorphin receptors (κ-opioid receptor [KOR]). In KNDy neurons from intact vs castrated male mice, NK3R-mediated stimulation is attenuated and KOR-mediated inhibition enhanced, suggesting gonadal secretions are involved. Estradiol suppresses spontaneous GnRH neuron firing in male mice, but the mediators of the effects on firing in KNDy neurons are unknown. We hypothesized the same gonadal steroids affecting GnRH firing pattern would regulate KNDy neuron response to NK3R and KOR agonists. To test this possibility, extracellular recordings were made from KNDy neurons in brain slices from intact, untreated castrated or castrated adult male mice treated in vivo with steroid receptor agonists. As observed previously, the stimulation of KNDy neurons by the NK3R agonist senktide was attenuated in intact vs castrated mice and suppression by dynorphin was enhanced. In contrast to observations of steroid effects on the GnRH neuron firing pattern, both estradiol and DHT suppressed senktide-induced KNDy neuron firing and enhanced the inhibition caused by dynorphin. An estrogen receptor-α agonist but not an estrogen receptor-β agonist mimicked the effects of estradiol on NK3R activation. These observations suggest the steroid modulation of responses to activation of NK3R and KOR as mechanisms for negative feedback in KNDy neurons and support the contribution of these neurons to steroid-sensitive elements of a GnRH pulse generator. PMID:26562263

  6. μ Opioid receptor: novel antagonists and structural modeling

    PubMed Central

    Kaserer, Teresa; Lantero, Aquilino; Schmidhammer, Helmut; Spetea, Mariana; Schuster, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    The μ opioid receptor (MOR) is a prominent member of the G protein-coupled receptor family and the molecular target of morphine and other opioid drugs. Despite the long tradition of MOR-targeting drugs, still little is known about the ligand-receptor interactions and structure-function relationships underlying the distinct biological effects upon receptor activation or inhibition. With the resolved crystal structure of the β-funaltrexamine-MOR complex, we aimed at the discovery of novel agonists and antagonists using virtual screening tools, i.e. docking, pharmacophore- and shape-based modeling. We suggest important molecular interactions, which active molecules share and distinguish agonists and antagonists. These results allowed for the generation of theoretically validated in silico workflows that were employed for prospective virtual screening. Out of 18 virtual hits evaluated in in vitro pharmacological assays, three displayed antagonist activity and the most active compound significantly inhibited morphine-induced antinociception. The new identified chemotypes hold promise for further development into neurochemical tools for studying the MOR or as potential therapeutic lead candidates. PMID:26888328

  7. μ Opioid receptor: novel antagonists and structural modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaserer, Teresa; Lantero, Aquilino; Schmidhammer, Helmut; Spetea, Mariana; Schuster, Daniela

    2016-02-01

    The μ opioid receptor (MOR) is a prominent member of the G protein-coupled receptor family and the molecular target of morphine and other opioid drugs. Despite the long tradition of MOR-targeting drugs, still little is known about the ligand-receptor interactions and structure-function relationships underlying the distinct biological effects upon receptor activation or inhibition. With the resolved crystal structure of the β-funaltrexamine-MOR complex, we aimed at the discovery of novel agonists and antagonists using virtual screening tools, i.e. docking, pharmacophore- and shape-based modeling. We suggest important molecular interactions, which active molecules share and distinguish agonists and antagonists. These results allowed for the generation of theoretically validated in silico workflows that were employed for prospective virtual screening. Out of 18 virtual hits evaluated in in vitro pharmacological assays, three displayed antagonist activity and the most active compound significantly inhibited morphine-induced antinociception. The new identified chemotypes hold promise for further development into neurochemical tools for studying the MOR or as potential therapeutic lead candidates.

  8. An early granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment attenuates neuropathic pain through activation of mu opioid receptors on the injured nerve

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Ming-Feng; Yeh, Shin-Rung; Lo, Ai-Lun; Chao, Po-Kuan; Lee, Yun-Lin; Hung, Yu-Hui; Lu, Kwok-Tung; Ro, Long-Sun

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have shown that the mu opioid receptor (MOR) located in the peripheral nerves can be activated after nerve injury and that it attenuates peripheral nociceptive signals to the spinal dorsal horn. Various cytokines and phosphorylated-p38 (p-p38) activation in the dorsal horn also play an important role in neuropathic pain development. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF) is a growth factor that can stimulate granulocyte formation and has been shown to exert an analgesic effect on neuropathic pain through recruiting opioid-containing leukocytes to the injured nerve. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Herein, the results of behavior tests in addition to MOR levels in the injured sciatic nerve and the levels of p-p38 and various cytokines in the spinal dorsal horn were studied in vehicle-treated or GCSF-treated chronic constriction injured (CCI) rats at different time points (i.e., 1, 3, and 7 days, respectively) after nerve injury. The results showed that a single early systemic GCSF treatment after nerve injury can up-regulate MORs in the injured nerve, which can decrease peripheral nociceptive signals. Thereafter, those changes suppress the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 but enhance the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4, followed by decreases in p-p38 in the dorsal horn, and thus further attenuate neuropathic pain. PMID:27180600

  9. The delta-opioid receptor is sufficient, but not necessary, for spinal opioid-adrenergic analgesic synergy.

    PubMed

    Chabot-Doré, Anne-Julie; Millecamps, Magali; Stone, Laura S

    2013-12-01

    Spinal administration of opioid and α2-adrenergic receptor (α2AR) agonists produces analgesia, and agonists interact synergistically when coadministered. The molecular mechanism underlying this synergy is largely unknown. Pharmacological studies have identified both the delta and the mu-opioid receptors (DOR and MOR) as candidate receptors capable of interacting synergistically with α2AR agonists. However, recent studies attribute the antinociceptive effect of DOR agonists to actions at the MOR, calling the role of DOR in opioid-adrenergic synergy into question. Other studies suggesting that DOR is implicated in morphine antinociception raise the possibility that DOR is nonetheless required for morphine synergy with α2AR agonists. This study aimed to determine whether DOR activation is sufficient and necessary to mediate opioid-adrenergic synergistic interactions in the spinal cord. The antinociceptive effects of clonidine, [D-Ala(2)]-deltorphin II (DeltII), morphine, and [D-Ala(2), N-Me-Phe(4), Gly-ol(5)]-enkephalin (DAMGO) were evaluated using the substance P (SP) behavioral assay in wild type (WT) and DOR-knockout (KO) mice. Opioid-adrenergic drug interactions were evaluated after spinal coadministration of clonidine with DeltII, morphine, or DAMGO. Isobolographic analyses of dose-response curves determined whether interactions were synergistic or additive. The absence of DeltII antinociceptive efficacy in DOR-KO confirmed its selectivity in the SP assay. Although DeltII+clonidine interacted synergistically in WT mice, no interaction with clonidine was observed in DOR-KO mice. Clonidine was synergistic with morphine in both mouse strains. DAMGO did not synergize with clonidine in either strain. These findings confirm that although other opioid receptors can interact synergistically with α2AR agonists, DOR is sufficient for spinal opioid-adrenergic interactions.

  10. Aminothiazolomorphinans with mixed κ and μ opioid activity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tangzhi; Yan, Zhaohua; Sromek, Anna; Knapp, Brian I; Scrimale, Thomas; Bidlack, Jean M; Neumeyer, John L

    2011-03-24

    A series of N-substituted and N'-substituted aminothiazole-derived morphinans (5) were synthesized for expanding the structure-activity relationships of aminothiazolo-morphinans. Although their affinities were somewhat lower than their prototype aminothiazolo-N-cyclopropylmorphinan (3), 3-aminothiazole derivatives of cyclorphan (1) containing a primary amino group displayed high affinity and selectivity at the κ and μ opioid receptors. [(35)S]GTPγS binding assays showed that the aminothiazolomorphinans were κ agonists with mixed agonist and antagonist activity at the μ opioid receptor. These novel N'-monosubstituted aminothiazole-derived morphinans may be valuable for the development of drug abuse medications.

  11. Overview of genetic analysis of human opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Spampinato, Santi M

    2015-01-01

    The human μ-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1), due to its genetic and structural variation, has been a target of interest in several pharmacogenetic studies. The μ-opioid receptor (MOR), encoded by OPRM1, contributes to regulate the analgesic response to pain and also controls the rewarding effects of many drugs of abuse, including opioids, nicotine, and alcohol. Genetic polymorphisms of opioid receptors are candidates for the variability of clinical opioid effects. The non-synonymous polymorphism A118G of the OPRM1 has been repeatedly associated with the efficacy of opioid treatments for pain and various types of dependence. Genetic analysis of human opioid receptors has evidenced the presence of numerous polymorphisms either in exonic or in intronic sequences as well as the presence of synonymous coding variants that may have important effects on transcription, mRNA stability, and splicing, thus affecting gene function despite not directly disrupting any specific residue. Genotyping of opioid receptors is still in its infancy and a relevant progress in this field can be achieved by using advanced gene sequencing techniques described in this review that allow the researchers to obtain vast quantities of data on human genomes and transcriptomes in a brief period of time and with affordable costs.

  12. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and large conductance calcium-sensitive potassium channels inhibit the release of opioid peptides that induce mu-opioid receptor internalization in the rat spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Song, B; Marvizón, J C G

    2005-01-01

    Endogenous opioids in the spinal cord play an important role in nociception, but the mechanisms that control their release are poorly understood. To simultaneously detect all opioids able to activate the mu-opioid receptor, we measured mu-opioid receptor internalization in rat spinal cord slices stimulated electrically or chemically to evoke opioid release. Electrical stimulation of the dorsal horn in the presence of peptidase inhibitors produced mu-opioid receptor internalization in half of the mu-opioid receptor neurons. This internalization was rapidly abolished by N-methyl-D-aspartate (IC50=2 microM), and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists prevented this effect. mu-Opioid receptor internalization evoked by high K+ or veratridine was also inhibited by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation. N-methyl-D-aspartate did not affect mu-opioid receptor internalization induced by exogenous endomorphins, confirming that the effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate was on opioid release. We hypothesized that this inhibition was mediated by large conductance Ca2+-sensitive K+ channels BK(Ca2+). Indeed, inhibition by N-methyl-D-aspartate was prevented by tetraethylammonium and by the selective BK(Ca2+) blockers paxilline, penitrem A and verruculogen. Paxilline did not increase mu-opioid receptor internalization in the absence of N-methyl-D-aspartate, indicating that it does not produce an increase in opioid release unrelated to the inhibition by N-methyl-d-aspartate. The BK(Ca2+) involved appears to be a subtype with slow association kinetics for iberiotoxin, which was effective only with long incubations. The BK(Ca2+) opener NS-1619 also inhibited the evoked mu-opioid receptor internalization, and iberiotoxin prevented this effect. We concluded that Ca2+ influx through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors causes the opening of BK(Ca2+) and hyperpolarization in opioid-containing dorsal horn neurons, resulting in the inhibition of opioid release. Since mu-opioid receptors in the dorsal horn

  13. N-METHYL-d-ASPARTATE RECEPTORS AND LARGE CONDUCTANCE CALCIUM-SENSITIVE POTASSIUM CHANNELS INHIBIT THE RELEASE OF OPIOID PEPTIDES THAT INDUCE μ-OPIOID RECEPTOR INTERNALIZATION IN THE RAT SPINAL CORD

    PubMed Central

    SONG, B.; MARVIZÓN, J. C. G.

    2006-01-01

    Endogenous opioids in the spinal cord play an important role in nociception, but the mechanisms that control their release are poorly understood. To simultaneously detect all opioids able to activate the μ-opioid receptor, we measured μ-opioid receptor internalization in rat spinal cord slices stimulated electrically or chemically to evoke opioid release. Electrical stimulation of the dorsal horn in the presence of peptidase inhibitors produced μ-opioid receptor internalization in half of the μ-opioid receptor neurons. This internalization was rapidly abolished by N-methyl-d-aspartate (IC50=2 μM), and N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonists prevented this effect. μ-Opioid receptor internalization evoked by high K+ or veratridine was also inhibited by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activation. N-methyl-d-aspartate did not affect μ-opioid receptor internalization induced by exogenous endomorphins, confirming that the effect of N-methyl-d-aspartate was on opioid release. We hypothesized that this inhibition was mediated by large conductance Ca2+-sensitive K+ channels BK(Ca2+). Indeed, inhibition by N-methyl-d-aspartate was prevented by tetraethylammonium and by the selective BK(Ca2+) blockers paxilline, penitrem A and verruculogen. Paxilline did not increase μ-opioid receptor internalization in the absence of N-methyl-d-aspartate, indicating that it does not produce an increase in opioid release unrelated to the inhibition by N-methyl-d-aspartate. The BK(Ca2+) involved appears to be a subtype with slow association kinetics for iberiotoxin, which was effective only with long incubations. The BK(Ca2+) opener NS-1619 also inhibited the evoked μ-opioid receptor internalization, and iberiotoxin prevented this effect. We concluded that Ca2+ influx through N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors causes the opening of BK(Ca2+) and hyperpolarization in opioid-containing dorsal horn neurons, resulting in the inhibition of opioid release. Since μ-opioid receptors in the dorsal horn

  14. Opioid receptor desensitization: mechanisms and its link to tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Allouche, Stéphane; Noble, Florence; Marie, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Opioid receptors (OR) are part of the class A of G-protein coupled receptors and the target of the opiates, the most powerful analgesic molecules used in clinic. During a protracted use, a tolerance to analgesic effect develops resulting in a reduction of the effectiveness. So understanding mechanisms of tolerance is a great challenge and may help to find new strategies to tackle this side effect. This review will summarize receptor-related mechanisms that could underlie tolerance especially receptor desensitization. We will focus on the latest data obtained on molecular mechanisms involved in opioid receptor desensitization: phosphorylation, receptor uncoupling, internalization, and post-endocytic fate of the receptor. PMID:25566076

  15. High-affinity carbamate analogues of morphinan at opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xuemei; Knapp, Brian I; Bidlack, Jean M; Neumeyer, John L

    2007-03-15

    A series of carbamate analogues were synthesized from levorphanol (1a), cyclorphan (2a) or butorphan (3a) and evaluated in vitro for their binding affinity at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. Functional activities of these compounds were measured in the [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding assay. Phenyl carbamate derivatives 2d and 3d showed the highest binding affinity for kappa receptor (K(i)=0.046 and 0.051 nM) and for mu receptor (K(i)=0.11 and 0.12 nM). Compound 1c showed the highest mu selectivity. The preliminary assay for agonist and antagonist properties of these ligands in stimulating [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding mediated by the kappa opioid receptor illustrated that all of these ligands were kappa agonists. At the mu receptor, compounds 1b, 1c, 2b, and 3b were agonists, while compounds 2c-e and 3c-e were mu agonists/antagonists.

  16. Delta opioid receptors presynaptically regulate cutaneous mechanosensory neuron input to the spinal cord dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Bardoni, Rita; Tawfik, Vivianne L; Wang, Dong; François, Amaury; Solorzano, Carlos; Shuster, Scott A; Choudhury, Papiya; Betelli, Chiara; Cassidy, Colleen; Smith, Kristen; de Nooij, Joriene C; Mennicken, Françoise; O'Donnell, Dajan; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Woodbury, C Jeffrey; Basbaum, Allan I; MacDermott, Amy B; Scherrer, Grégory

    2014-03-19

    Cutaneous mechanosensory neurons detect mechanical stimuli that generate touch and pain sensation. Although opioids are generally associated only with the control of pain, here we report that the opioid system in fact broadly regulates cutaneous mechanosensation, including touch. This function is predominantly subserved by the delta opioid receptor (DOR), which is expressed by myelinated mechanoreceptors that form Meissner corpuscles, Merkel cell-neurite complexes, and circumferential hair follicle endings. These afferents also include a small population of CGRP-expressing myelinated nociceptors that we now identify as the somatosensory neurons that coexpress mu and delta opioid receptors. We further demonstrate that DOR activation at the central terminals of myelinated mechanoreceptors depresses synaptic input to the spinal dorsal horn, via the inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels. Collectively our results uncover a molecular mechanism by which opioids modulate cutaneous mechanosensation and provide a rationale for targeting DOR to alleviate injury-induced mechanical hypersensitivity.

  17. Pharmacological traits of delta opioid receptors: pitfalls or opportunities?

    PubMed Central

    van Rijn, Richard M.; DeFriel, Julia N.; Whistler, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Delta opioid receptors (DORs) have been considered as a potential target to relieve pain as well as treat depression and anxiety disorders, and are known to modulate other physiological responses, including ethanol and food consumption. A small number of DOR selective drugs are in clinical trials, but no DOR selective drugs have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and some candidates have failed in phase II clinical trials, highlighting current difficulties producing effective delta opioid based therapies. Recent studies have provided new insights into the pharmacology of the DOR, which is often complex and at times paradoxical. This review will discuss the existing literature focusing on four aspects: 1) Two DOR subtypes have been postulated based on differences in pharmacological effects of existing DOR-selective ligands 2) DORs are expressed ubiquitously throughout the body and central nervous system and are, thus, positioned to play a role in a multitude of diseases. 3) DOR expression is often dynamic, with many reports of increased expression during exposure to chronic stimuli, such as stress, inflammation, neuropathy, morphine, or changes in endogenous opioid tone. 4) A large structural variety in DOR ligands implies potential different mechanisms of activating the receptor. These combined features of DOR pharmacology illustrate the potential benefit of designing tailored or biased DOR ligands. PMID:23649885

  18. Pharmacological differentiation of opioid receptor antagonists by molecular and functional imaging of target occupancy and food reward-related brain activation in humans.

    PubMed

    Rabiner, E A; Beaver, J; Makwana, A; Searle, G; Long, C; Nathan, P J; Newbould, R D; Howard, J; Miller, S R; Bush, M A; Hill, S; Reiley, R; Passchier, J; Gunn, R N; Matthews, P M; Bullmore, E T

    2011-08-01

    Opioid neurotransmission has a key role in mediating reward-related behaviours. Opioid receptor (OR) antagonists, such as naltrexone (NTX), can attenuate the behaviour-reinforcing effects of primary (food) and secondary rewards. GSK1521498 is a novel OR ligand, which behaves as an inverse agonist at the μ-OR sub-type. In a sample of healthy volunteers, we used [(11)C]-carfentanil positron emission tomography to measure the OR occupancy and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure activation of brain reward centres by palatable food stimuli before and after single oral doses of GSK1521498 (range, 0.4-100 mg) or NTX (range, 2-50 mg). GSK1521498 had high affinity for human brain ORs (GSK1521498 effective concentration 50 = 7.10 ng ml(-1)) and there was a direct relationship between receptor occupancy (RO) and plasma concentrations of GSK1521498. However, for both NTX and its principal active metabolite in humans, 6-β-NTX, this relationship was indirect. GSK1521498, but not NTX, significantly attenuated the fMRI activation of the amygdala by a palatable food stimulus. We thus have shown how the pharmacological properties of OR antagonists can be characterised directly in humans by a novel integration of molecular and functional neuroimaging techniques. GSK1521498 was differentiated from NTX in terms of its pharmacokinetics, target affinity, plasma concentration-RO relationships and pharmacodynamic effects on food reward processing in the brain. Pharmacological differentiation of these molecules suggests that they may have different therapeutic profiles for treatment of overeating and other disorders of compulsive consumption.

  19. In-vitro investigation of oxazol and urea analogues of morphinan at opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xuemei; Knapp, Brian I; Bidlack, Jean M; Neumeyer, John L

    2007-06-15

    A series of 2-amino-oxazole (7 and 8) analogs and 2-one-oxazole analogs (9 and 10) were synthesized from cyclorphan (1) or butorphan (2) and evaluated in-vitro by their binding affinity at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors and compared with their 2-aminothiozole analogs 5 and 6. Ligands 7-10 showed decreased affinities at kappa and mu receptors. Urea analogs (11-14) were also prepared from 2-aminocyclorphan (3) or 2-aminobutorphan (4) and evaluated in-vitro by their binding affinity at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. The urea derived opioids retained their affinities at mu receptors while showing increased affinities at delta receptors and decreased affinities at kappa receptors. Functional activities of these compounds were measured in the [35S]GTPgammaS binding assay, illustrating that all of these ligands were kappa agonists. At the mu receptor, compounds 11 and 12 were mu agonist/antagonists.

  20. Cyclic endomorphin analogs in targeting opioid receptors to achieve pain relief.

    PubMed

    Janecka, Anna; Gentilucci, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Endomorphins, the endogenous ligands of the µ-opioid receptor, are attractive candidates for opioid-based pain-relieving agents. These tetrapeptides, with their remarkable affinity for the µ-opioid receptor, display favorable antinociceptive activity when injected directly into the brain of experimental animals. However, the application of endomorphins as clinical analgesics has been impeded by their instability in body fluids and inability to reach the brain after systemic administration. Among numerous modifications of the endomorphin structure aimed at improving their pharmacological properties, cyclization can be viewed as an interesting option. Here, we have summarized recent advances in obtaining endomorphin-based cyclic peptide analogs.

  1. Morphine treatment during juvenile isolation increases social activity and opioid peptides release in the adult rat.

    PubMed

    Van den Berg, C L; Kitchen, I; Gerrits, M A; Spruijt, B M; Van Ree, J M

    1999-05-29

    The consequences of juvenile isolation and morphine treatment on general activity, social activity and endogenous opioid release during a social interaction test were investigated in the adult rat. Rats were either isolated or socially housed during weeks 4 and 5 of age and treated daily during this isolation period subcutaneously with either saline or morphine. Directly after a social interaction test at 10 weeks of age, rats were injected with [3H]-diprenorphine and subsequently prepared for in vivo autoradiography. The autoradiographic technique was used to visualise neuroanatomical changes in opioid receptor occupancy, probably reflecting changes in opioid peptide release, as a result of social activity. Juvenile isolation increased general activity during the social interaction test, an effect which was accompanied by a reduction of opioid receptor occupancy in many brain areas, suggesting an increased opioid peptide release as a consequence of socially-induced general activity. Morphine treatment in isolated rats caused an increase in adult social activity and enhanced opioid peptide release in some cortical regions and the ventral tegmental area as compared to saline treated rats. Both social activity and opioid receptor occupancy were unaffected by morphine treatment in non-isolated rats. The present study underscores the role of opioid systems in adult social behaviors as a consequence of juvenile isolation. The results suggest a relationship between social activity and opioid peptide release during social contact. Increased social activity seems to be accompanied by elevated opioid peptide release in distinct brain areas after morphine treatment during juvenile isolation.

  2. A6V polymorphism of the human μ-opioid receptor decreases signalling of morphine and endogenous opioids in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Knapman, Alisa; Santiago, Marina; Connor, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Polymorphisms of the μ opioid receptor (MOPr) may contribute to the variation in responses to opioid drugs in clinical and unregulated situations. The A6V variant of MOPr (MOPr-A6V) is present in up to 20% of individuals in some populations, and may be associated with heightened susceptibility to drug abuse. There are no functional studies examining the acute signalling of MOPr-A6V in vitro, so we investigated potential functional differences between MOPr and MOPr-A6V at several signalling pathways using structurally distinct opioid ligands. Experimental Approach CHO and AtT-20 cells stably expressing MOPr and MOPr-A6V were used. AC inhibition and ERK1/2 phosphorylation were assayed in CHO cells; K channel activation was assayed in AtT-20 cells. Key Results Buprenorphine did not inhibit AC or stimulate ERK1/2 phosphorylation in CHO cells expressing MOPr-A6V, but buprenorphine activation of K channels in AtT-20 cells was preserved. [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin, morphine and β-endorphin inhibition of AC was significantly reduced via MOPr-A6V, as was signalling of all opioids to ERK1/2. However, there was little effect of the A6V variant on K channel activation. Conclusions and Implications Signalling to AC and ERK via the mutant MOPr-A6V was decreased for many opioids, including the clinically significant drugs morphine, buprenorphine and fentanyl, as well endogenous opioids. The MOPr-A6V variant is common and this compromised signalling may affect individual responses to opioid therapy, while the possible disruption of the endogenous opioid system may contribute to susceptibility to substance abuse. PMID:25521224

  3. Effects of the altered activity of δ-opioid receptor on the expression of glutamate transporter type 3 induced by chronic exposure to morphine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiang; Xia, Shuxuan; Lin, Jing; Cao, Dexiong; Chen, Weiqiang; Liu, Ling; Fu, Yanni; Liang, Jianjun; Cao, Minghui

    2013-12-15

    Altered δ-opioid receptor (DOR) activity can affect the activity and function of excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3), but the effects of DOR on EAAT3 expression in morphine relapse remain unknown. In this study, a C6δ cell line and SD rats in a conditioned place preference (CPP) reinstatement model were used. Here, we show that EAAT3 protein levels in C6δ cells decreased significantly after chronic exposure to morphine (10 μM) for 48 h and returned to normal 12 h after drug withdrawal. When C6δ cells were re-exposed to 5 μM morphine for 4 h, EAAT3 protein levels again decreased significantly. The selective μ opioid receptor (MOR) specific agonist DAMGO had a similar effect as morphine, and CTOP, a specific MOR blocker, reversed the declined expression of EAAT3 protein triggered by morphine exposure. The selective DOR agonist [d-pen2, 5] enkephalin (DPDPE) significantly increased EAAT3 expression in C6δ cells and even reversed the decreased EAAT3 expression caused by chronic morphine exposure. The non specific antagonist naloxone, but not the DOR inhibitor Naltrindole (NTI), reversed the decreased EAAT3 expression in C6δ cells caused by chronic morphine exposure. In vivo, EAAT3 levels in the prefrontal cortex of rats with morphine-induced CPP reinstatement significantly decreased. Naloxone completely suppressed reinstatement and reversed the decrease in EAAT3 expression induced by morphine re-exposure. In contrast, NTI only weakened CPP reinstatement and exerted no influence on EAAT3 expression. These findings suggest that DOR can affect the expression of EAAT3. However, the morphine-induced down-regulation of EAAT3 in C6δ cells and in the prefrontal cortex of rats may not be mediated by DOR.

  4. Heterologous desensitization of opioid receptors by chemokines inhibits chemotaxis and enhances the perception of pain.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Imre; Chen, Xiao-Hong; Xin, Li; Adler, Martin W; Howard, O M Z; Oppenheim, Joost J; Rogers, Thomas J

    2002-08-06

    The chemokines use G protein-coupled receptors to regulate the migratory and proadhesive responses of leukocytes. Based on observations that G protein-coupled receptors undergo heterologous desensitization, we have examined the ability of chemokines to also influence the perception of pain by cross-desensitizing opioid G protein-coupled receptors function in vitro and in vivo. We find that the chemotactic activities of both mu- and delta-opioid receptors are desensitized following activation of the chemokine receptors CCR5, CCR2, CCR7, and CXCR4 but not of the CXCR1 or CXCR2 receptors. Furthermore, we also find that pretreatment with RANTES/CCL5, the ligand for CCR1, and CCR5 or SDF-1alpha/CXCL12, the ligand for CXCR4, followed by opioid administration into the periaqueductal gray matter of the brain results in an increased rat tail flick response to a painful stimulus. Because chemokine administration into the periaqueductal gray matter inhibits opioid-induced analgesia, we propose that the activation of proinflammatory chemokine receptors down-regulates the analgesic functions of opioid receptors, and this enhances the perception of pain at inflammatory sites.

  5. Imaging of opioid receptors in the central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Henriksen, Gjermund

    2008-01-01

    In vivo functional imaging by means of positron emission tomography (PET) is the sole method for providing a quantitative measurement of μ-, κ and δ-opioid receptor-mediated signalling in the central nervous system. During the last two decades, measurements of changes to the regional brain opioidergic neuronal activation—mediated by endogenously produced opioid peptides, or exogenously administered opioid drugs—have been conducted in numerous chronic pain conditions, in epilepsy, as well as by stimulant- and opioidergic drugs. Although several PET-tracers have been used clinically for depiction and quantification of the opioid receptors changes, the underlying mechanisms for regulation of changes to the availability of opioid receptors are still unclear. After a presentation of the general signalling mechanisms of the opioid receptor system relevant for PET, a critical survey of the pharmacological properties of some currently available PET-tracers is presented. Clinical studies performed with different PET ligands are also reviewed and the compound-dependent findings are summarized. An outlook is given concluding with the tailoring of tracer properties, in order to facilitate for a selective addressment of dynamic changes to the availability of a single subclass, in combination with an optimization of the quantification framework are essentials for further progress in the field of in vivo opioid receptor imaging. PMID:18048446

  6. Synthesis and biological activity of small peptides as NOP and opioid receptors' ligands: view on current developments.

    PubMed

    Naydenova, Emilia; Todorov, Petar; Zamfirova, Rositza

    2015-01-01

    The heptadecapeptide nociceptin, also called orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), is the endogenous agonist of the N/OFQ peptide receptor (NOP receptor) and is involved in several central nervous system pathways, such as nociception, reward, tolerance, and feeding. The discovery of small molecule ligands for NOP is being actively pursued for several therapeutic applications. This review presents overview of the several recently reported NOP ligands (agonists and antagonists), with an emphasis of the structural features that may be important for modulating the intrinsic activity of these ligands. In addition, a brief account on the characterization of newly synthesized ligands of NOP receptor with aminophosphonate moiety and β-tryptophan analogues will be presented.

  7. delta-Opioid receptor agonist SNC80 elicits peripheral antinociception via delta(1) and delta(2) receptors and activation of the l-arginine/nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, Daniela F; Reis, Gláucia M L; Francischi, Janetti N; Castro, Maria S A; Perez, Andrea C; Duarte, Igor D G

    2005-11-19

    In this study, we characterized the role of delta(1) and delta(2) opioids receptors, as well the involvement of the l-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway in the peripheral antinociception induced by delta-opioid receptor agonist (+)-4-[(alphaR)-alpha-((2S,5R)-4-Allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-methoxybenzyl]-N,N-diethylbenzamide (SNC80). The paw pressure test was utilized, in which pain sensitivity is increased by intraplantar injection of prostaglandin E(2) (2 microg). Administration of SNC80 (20, 40 and 80 microg/paw) decreased the hyperalgesia induced by prostaglandin E(2) in a dose-dependent manner. The possibility that the higher dose of SNC80 (80 microg) has a central or systemic effect was excluded, since administration of the drug into the contralateral paw did not elicit antinociception in the right paw. 7-Benzylidenenaltrexone (BNTX), 5, 10 and 20 microg/paw, and 17-(Cyclopropylmethyl)-6,7-didehydro-3,14beta-dihydroxy-4,5alpha-epoxy-6,7-2',3'-benzo[b]furanomorphinan (naltriben), 2.5, 5 and 10 microg/paw, delta(1) and delta(2) opioid receptor antagonist respectively, elicited partial antagonism of the peripheral antinociceptive effect of the SNC80 (80 microg). The BNTX (10 microg/paw)-naltriben (5 microg/paw) combination completely antagonized the peripheral antinociception induced by SNC80 (80 microg). Further, blockers of the l-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway, N(G)-nitro-l-arginine (12, 18 and 24 microg/paw) and methylene blue (125, 250 and 500 microg/paw) were observed reverting the peripheral antinociceptive effect of SNC80. This study provides evidence that the peripheral antinociception induced by SNC80 occurs via delta(1) and delta(2) receptors and may result from l-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway activation.

  8. Positive allosteric modulators of the μ-opioid receptor: a novel approach for future pain medications

    PubMed Central

    Burford, N T; Traynor, J R; Alt, A

    2015-01-01

    Morphine and other agonists of the μ-opioid receptor are used clinically for acute and chronic pain relief and are considered to be the gold standard for pain medication. However, these opioids also have significant side effects, which are also mediated via activation of the μ-opioid receptor. Since the latter half of the twentieth century, researchers have sought to tease apart the mechanisms underlying analgesia, tolerance and dependence, with the hope of designing drugs with fewer side effects. These efforts have revolved around the design of orthosteric agonists with differing pharmacokinetic properties and/or selectivity profiles for the different opioid receptor types. Recently, μ-opioid receptor-positive allosteric modulators (μ-PAMs) were identified, which bind to a (allosteric) site on the μ-opioid receptor separate from the orthosteric site that binds an endogenous agonist. These allosteric modulators have little or no detectable functional activity when bound to the receptor in the absence of orthosteric agonist, but can potentiate the activity of bound orthosteric agonist, seen as an increase in apparent potency and/or efficacy of the orthosteric agonist. In this review, we describe the potential advantages that a μ-PAM approach might bring to the design of novel therapeutics for pain that may lack the side effects currently associated with opioid therapy. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24460691

  9. Opioid receptors on guinea-pig intestinal crypt epithelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Lang, M E; Davison, J S; Bates, S L; Meddings, J B

    1996-01-01

    1. Opioid peptides promote net intestinal absorption via two mechanisms: stimulation of Na+ and Cl- absorption and inhibition of Cl- secretion. Although these transport changes are predominantly mediated by submucosal neurones, it is currently unclear whether opioid peptides can regulate enterocyte function directly. We therefore tested the hypothesis that enterocytes have specific opioid receptors. 2. Villus and crypt jejunal epithelial cells were isolated by the distended sac method from anaesthetized guinea-pigs. Flow cytometry was used to resolve enterocytes from other cell types and to determine whether binding of a fluorescently labelled opioid antagonist, naltrexone-FITC, could be prevented by unlabelled mu- and delta-opioid receptor agonists. A population of crypt enterocytes (approximately 21%) exhibited high-affinity naltrexone-FITC binding to both mu- and delta-type binding sites that was stereoselective and sodium dependent. Villus enterocytes did not exhibit any of these characteristics. 3. Basal cAMP production was elevated in both villus and crypt cells treated with IBMX (3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine). Villus cells did not respond to 100 nM vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), nor were they affected by opioid peptides. In contrast, 100 nM VIP significantly increased cAMP production in crypt epithelial cells, which was significantly reduced by both morphiceptin and D-Ser2-Leu-Enk-Thr. This opioid-mediated effect was stereoselective and blocked by the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone. 4. These experiments suggest that enterocytes isolated from the crypt epithelium of guineapigs have both mu- and delta-types of opioid receptors. It is possible that these cells participate in opioid-mediated regulation of intestinal secretion. Images Figure 12 PMID:8951719

  10. Opioid and nicotine receptors affect growth regulation of human lung cancer cell lines

    SciTech Connect

    Maneckjee, R.; Minna, J.D. Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD )

    1990-05-01

    Using specific radioactively-labeled ligands, the authors find that lung cancer cell lines of diverse histologic types express multiple, high-affinity membrane receptors for {mu}, {delta}, and {kappa} opioid agonists and for nicotine and {alpha}-bungarotoxin. These receptors are biologically active because cAMP levels decreased in lung cancer cells after opioid and nicotine application. Nicotine at concentrations found in the blood of smokers had no effect on in vitro lung cancer cell growth, whereas {mu}, {delta}, and {kappa} opioid agonists at low concentrations inhibited lung cancer growth in vitro. They also found that lung cancer cells expressed various combinations of immunoreactive opioid peptides ({beta}-endorphin, enkephalin, or dynorphin), suggesting the participation of opioids in a negative autocrine loop or tumor-suppressing system. Due to the almost universal exposure of patients with lung cancer to nicotine, they tested whether nicotine affected the response of lung cancer cell growth to opioids and found that nicotine at concentrations of 100-200 nM partially or totally reversed opioid-induced growth inhibition in 9/14 lung cancer cell lines. These in vitro results for lung cancer cells suggest that opioids could function as part of a tumor suppressor system and that nicotine can function to circumvent this system in the pathogenesis of lung cancer.

  11. An Opioid Agonist that Does Not Induce μ-Opioid Receptor—Arrestin Interactions or Receptor Internalization

    PubMed Central

    Groer, C. E.; Tidgewell, K.; Moyer, R. A.; Harding, W. W.; Rothman, R. B.; Prisinzano, T. E.; Bohn, L. M.

    2013-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptor desensitization and trafficking are important regulators of opioid receptor signaling that can dictate overall drug responsiveness in vivo. Furthermore, different μ-opioid receptor (μOR) ligands can lead to varying degrees of receptor regulation, presumably because of distinct structural conformations conferred by agonist binding. For example, morphine binding produces a μOR with low affinity for β-arrestin proteins and limited receptor internalization, whereas enkephalin analogs promote robust trafficking of both β-arrestins and the receptors. Here, we evaluate μOR trafficking in response to activation by a novel μ-selective agonist derived from the naturally occurring plant product, salvinorin A. It is interesting that this compound, termed herkinorin, does not promote the recruitment of β-arrestin-2 to the μOR and does not lead to receptor internalization. Moreover, whereas G protein-coupled receptor kinase overexpression can promote morphine-induced β-arrestin interactions and μOR internalization, such manipulations do not promote herkinorin-induced trafficking. Studies in mice have shown that β-arrestin-2 plays an important role in the development of morphine-induced tolerance, constipation, and respiratory depression. Therefore, drugs that can activate the receptor without recruiting the arrestins may be a promising step in the development of opiate analgesics that distinguish between agonist activity and receptor regulation and may ultimately lead to therapeutics designed to provide pain relief without the adverse side effects normally associated with the opiate narcotics. PMID:17090705

  12. Opioid receptors and cardioprotection – ‘opioidergic conditioning’ of the heart

    PubMed Central

    Headrick, John P; See Hoe, Louise E; Du Toit, Eugene F; Peart, Jason N

    2015-01-01

    Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) remains a major cause of morbidity/mortality globally, firmly established in Westernized or ‘developed’ countries and rising in prevalence in developing nations. Thus, cardioprotective therapies to limit myocardial damage with associated ischaemia–reperfusion (I–R), during infarction or surgical ischaemia, is a very important, although still elusive, clinical goal. The opioid receptor system, encompassing the δ (vas deferens), κ (ketocyclazocine) and μ (morphine) opioid receptors and their endogenous opioid ligands (endorphins, dynorphins, enkephalins), appears as a logical candidate for such exploitation. This regulatory system may orchestrate organism and organ responses to stress, induces mammalian hibernation and associated metabolic protection, triggers powerful adaptive stress resistance in response to ischaemia/hypoxia (preconditioning), and mediates cardiac benefit stemming from physical activity. In addition to direct myocardial actions, central opioid receptor signalling may also enhance the ability of the heart to withstand I–R injury. The δ- and κ-opioid receptors are strongly implicated in cardioprotection across models and species (including anti-infarct and anti-arrhythmic actions), with mixed evidence for μ opioid receptor-dependent protection in animal and human tissues. A small number of clinical trials have provided evidence of cardiac benefit from morphine or remifentanil in cardiopulmonary bypass or coronary angioplasty patients, although further trials of subtype-specific opioid receptor agonists are needed. The precise roles and utility of this GPCR family in healthy and diseased human myocardium, and in mediating central and peripheral survival responses, warrant further investigation, as do the putative negative influences of ageing, IHD co-morbidities, and relevant drugs on opioid receptor signalling and protective responses. PMID:25521834

  13. Signaling events initiated by kappa opioid receptor activation: quantification and immunocolocalization using phospho-selective KOR, p38 MAPK, and K(IR) 3.1 antibodies.

    PubMed

    Lemos, Julia C; Roth, Clarisse A; Chavkin, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, and addiction are both precipitated and exacerbated by severe or chronic stress exposure. While acutely, stress responses are adaptive, repeated exposure to stress can dysregulate the brain in such a way as to predispose the organism to both physiological and mental illness. Understanding the neuronal chemicals, cell types, and circuits involved in both normal and pathological stress responses are essential in developing new therapeutics for psychiatric diseases. Varying degrees of stressor exposure cause the release of a constellation of chemicals, including neuropeptides such as dynorphin. Neuropeptidergic release can be very difficult to directly measure with adequate spatial and temporal resolution. Moreover, the downstream consequences following release and receptor binding are numerous and also difficult to measure with cellular resolution. Following repeated stressor exposure, dynorphin is released, binds to the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), and causes activation of KOR. Agonist-activated KOR becomes a substrate for G protein receptor kinase (GRK), which phosphorylates the Ser369 residue at the C-terminal tail of the receptor in the first step in the β-Arrestin-dependent desensitization cascade. Through the use of phospho--selective antibodies developed and validated in the laboratory, we have the tools, to assess with fine cellular resolution, the strength of behavioral stimulus required for release, time course of the release, and regional location of release. We have gone on to show that following KOR activation, both ERK 1/2 and p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation are increased through use of commercially available phospho-selective antibodies. Finally, we have identified that one effector of KOR/p38MAP kinase is K(IR) 3.1 and have developed a phospho-selective antibody against the Y12 motif of this channel. Much like KOR and p38 MAP kinase, phosphorylation of this potassium channel increases following

  14. Analysis of potassium and calcium imaging to assay the function of opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Spahn, Viola; Nockemann, Dinah; Machelska, Halina

    2015-01-01

    As the activation of opioid receptors leads to the modulation of potassium and calcium channels, the ion imaging represents an attractive method to analyze the function of the receptors. Here, we describe the imaging of potassium using the FluxOR™ potassium ion channel assay, and of calcium using Fura-2 acetoxymethyl ester. Specifically, we (1) characterize the activation of the G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium 2 channel by agonists of μ- and δ-opioid receptors with the aid of the FluxOR™ assay in cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, and (2) describe calcium imaging protocols to measure capsaicin-induced transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel activity during opioid withdrawal in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells.

  15. Discovery of the first small-molecule opioid pan antagonist with nanomolar affinity at mu, delta, kappa, and nociceptin opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Zaveri, Nurulain T; Journigan, V Blair; Polgar, Willma E

    2015-04-15

    The trans-(3R,4R)-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine scaffold is a known pharmacophore for mu opioid (MOP), kappa opioid (KOP), and delta opioid (DOP) receptor antagonists; however, it has not been explored in nociceptin opioid (NOP/ORL-1) receptor ligands. We recently found that the selective KOP antagonist JDTic, (3R)-7-hydroxy-N-((1S)-1-{[(3R,4R)-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3,4-dimethyl-1-piperidinyl]methyl}-2-methylpropyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-3-isoquinolinecarboxamide, containing this opioid antagonist pharmacophore, has significant binding affinity at the NOP receptor (Ki 16.67 ± 0.76 nM), with no intrinsic activity in the [(35)S]GTPγS functional assay. Since this is the first ligand containing the trans-(3R,4R)-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine opioid antagonist pharmacophore to have affinity for the NOP receptor, we explored the structural determinants of its NOP binding affinity. When rational chemical modifications of JDTic were carried out, based on our previously established NOP pharmacophoric structure-activity relationship (SAR) model, most modifications led to a significant decrease in NOP and opioid binding affinity compared to JDTic. Interestingly, however, removal of the 3,4-dimethyl groups of the trans-(3R,4R)-dimethyl-4-(3-hydroxyphenyl)piperidine antagonist scaffold of JDTic increased the binding affinity at NOP by 10-fold (Ki 1.75 ± 0.74 nM) while maintaining comparable affinity for KOP, MOP, and DOP receptors (Ki 1.14 ± 0.63, 1.67 ± 0.6, and 19.6 ± 1.3 nM, respectively). In vitro functional efficacy studies using the [(35)S]GTPγS assay showed that this compound AT-076 functions as an antagonist at all four opioid receptors. Detailed characterization of the antagonist activity of AT-076 shows that it has a noncompetitive antagonist profile at the NOP and KOP receptors (insurmountable antagonism), but is a potent competitive antagonist at the MOP and DOP receptors, with Ke values 3-6-fold more potent than those of JDTic. AT-076 is the

  16. Direct association of Mu-opioid and NMDA glutamate receptors supports their cross-regulation: molecular implications for opioid tolerance.

    PubMed

    Garzón, Javier; Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar

    2012-09-01

    In the nervous system, the interaction of opioids like morphine and its derivatives, with the G protein-coupled Mu-opioid receptor (MOR) provokes the development of analgesic tolerance, as well as physical dependence. Tolerance implies that increasing doses of the drug are required to achieve the same effect, a phenomenon that contributes significantly to the social problems surrounding recreational opioid abuse. In recent years, our understanding of the mechanisms that control MOR function in the nervous system, and that eventually produce opioid tolerance, has increased greatly. Pharmacological studies have identified a number of signaling proteins involved in morphine-induced tolerance, including the N-methyl-D-aspartate acid glutamate receptor (NMDAR), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), protein kinase C (PKC), protein kinase A (PKA), calcium (Ca²⁺)/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), delta-opioid receptor (DOR) and the regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins. There is general agreement on the critical role of the NMDAR/nNOS/CaMKII pathway in this process, which is supported by the recent demonstration of a physical association between MORs and NMDARs in post-synaptic structures. Indeed, it is feasible that treatments that diminish morphine tolerance may target distinct elements within the same regulatory MOR-NMDAR pathway. Accordingly, we propose a model that incorporates the most relevant signaling components implicated in opioid tolerance in which, certain signals originating from the activated MOR are perceived by the associated NMDAR, which in turn exerts a negative feedback effect on MOR signaling. MOR- and NMDAR-mediated signals work together in a sequential and interconnected manner to ultimately induce MOR desensitization. Future studies of these phenomena should focus on adding further components to this signaling pathway in order to better define the mechanism underlying MOR desensitization in neural cells.

  17. Human native kappa opioid receptor functions not predicted by recombinant receptors: Implications for drug design

    PubMed Central

    Broad, John; Maurel, Damien; Kung, Victor W. S.; Hicks, Gareth A.; Schemann, Michael; Barnes, Michael R.; Kenakin, Terrence P.; Granier, Sébastien; Sanger, Gareth J.

    2016-01-01

    If activation of recombinant G protein-coupled receptors in host cells (by drugs or other ligands) has predictive value, similar data must be obtained with native receptors naturally expressed in tissues. Using mouse and human recombinant κ opioid receptors transfected into a host cell, two selectively-acting compounds (ICI204448, asimadoline) equi-effectively activated both receptors, assessed by measuring two different cell signalling pathways which were equally affected without evidence of bias. In mouse intestine, naturally expressing κ receptors within its nervous system, both compounds also equi-effectively activated the receptor, inhibiting nerve-mediated muscle contraction. However, whereas ICI204448 acted similarly in human intestine, where κ receptors are again expressed within its nervous system, asimadoline was inhibitory only at very high concentrations; instead, low concentrations of asimadoline reduced the activity of ICI204448. This demonstration of species-dependence in activation of native, not recombinant κ receptors may be explained by different mouse/human receptor structures affecting receptor expression and/or interactions with intracellular signalling pathways in native environments, to reveal differences in intrinsic efficacy between receptor agonists. These results have profound implications in drug design for κ and perhaps other receptors, in terms of recombinant-to-native receptor translation, species-dependency and possibly, a need to use human, therapeutically-relevant, not surrogate tissues. PMID:27492592

  18. Delta opioid receptor analgesia: recent contributions from pharmacology and molecular approaches

    PubMed Central

    Gavériaux-Ruff, Claire; Kieffer, Brigitte Lina

    2012-01-01

    Delta opioid receptors represent a promising target for the development of novel analgesics. A number of tools have been developed recently that have significantly improved our knowledge of delta receptor function in pain control. These include several novel delta agonists with potent analgesic properties, as well as genetic mouse models with targeted mutations in the delta opioid receptor gene. Also, recent findings have further documented the regulation of delta receptor function at cellular level, which impacts on the pain-reducing activity of the receptor. These regulatory mechanisms occur at transcriptional and post-translational levels, along agonist-induced receptor activation, signaling and trafficking, or in interaction with other receptors and neuromodulatory systems. All these tools for in vivo research, as well as proposed mechanisms at molecular level, have tremendously increased our understanding of delta receptor physiology, and contribute to designing innovative strategies for the treatment of chronic pain and other diseases such as mood disorders. PMID:21836459

  19. Supersensitive Kappa Opioid Receptors Promotes Ethanol Withdrawal-Related Behaviors and Reduce Dopamine Signaling in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Jamie H.; Karkhanis, Anushree N.; Chen, Rong; Gioia, Dominic; Lopez, Marcelo F.; Becker, Howard C.; McCool, Brian A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Chronic ethanol exposure reduces dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens, which may contribute to the negative affective symptoms associated with ethanol withdrawal. Kappa opioid receptors have been implicated in withdrawal-induced excessive drinking and anxiety-like behaviors and are known to inhibit dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. The effects of chronic ethanol exposure on kappa opioid receptor-mediated changes in dopamine transmission at the level of the dopamine terminal and withdrawal-related behaviors were examined. Methods: Five weeks of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in male C57BL/6 mice were used to examine the role of kappa opioid receptors in chronic ethanol-induced increases in ethanol intake and marble burying, a measure of anxiety/compulsive-like behavior. Drinking and marble burying were evaluated before and after chronic intermittent ethanol exposure, with and without kappa opioid receptor blockade by nor-binaltorphimine (10mg/kg i.p.). Functional alterations in kappa opioid receptors were assessed using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in brain slices containing the nucleus accumbens. Results: Chronic intermittent ethanol-exposed mice showed increased ethanol drinking and marble burying compared with controls, which was attenuated with kappa opioid receptor blockade. Chronic intermittent ethanol-induced increases in behavior were replicated with kappa opioid receptor activation in naïve mice. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry revealed that chronic intermittent ethanol reduced accumbal dopamine release and increased uptake rates, promoting a hypodopaminergic state of this region. Kappa opioid receptor activation with U50,488H concentration-dependently decreased dopamine release in both groups; however, this effect was greater in chronic intermittent ethanol-treated mice, indicating kappa opioid receptor supersensitivity in this group. Conclusions: These data suggest that the chronic intermittent ethanol-induced increase

  20. Reproductive aging in Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica is associated with changes in central opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Ottinger, M A; Corbitt, C; Hoffman, R; Thompson, N; Russek-Cohen, E; Deviche, P

    2006-12-18

    Quantitative in vitro autoradiography was used to measure specific mu and delta opioid receptor densities in regions of the Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, brain that regulates reproductive endocrine and behavioral responses to determine the possible involvement of the opioid system in reproductive decline seen during aging. Densities were measured in selected brain regions of young sexually active (YAM), young photoregressed (YPM), old reproductively senescent (OIM) male, young active (YF), and old senescent female (OF) Japanese quail. Medial and lateral septum (SM, SL), medial preoptic area (POM), and n. intercollicularis (ICo) were of particular interest for reproductive responses. Similar to previous observations, mu and delta opioid receptors showed differential distributions in the areas measured. Some age-related changes were observed, with lower SM mu receptor densities in aged males (OIM) than females or young males (YAM). Densities of mu receptors in the POM and in other areas examined did not vary with sex or age. Similarly, OIM males had lower densities of delta receptors in the SM than young males (YAM and YPM); POM delta receptor densities were also low in OIM males compared to the YPM males, and YAM males were intermediate. Interestingly, photoregressed males (YPM) had higher SL delta receptor densities than any other group. Thus there were age-related differences detected in mu receptor densities among groups in the SM of OIM relative to other groups; and the mu and delta receptor densities did not differ in females with brain region. Additionally for delta receptors specifically, YF and OF did not differ from OIM for any brain region and similarly had lower densities of delta receptors compared to YAM males. These data provide support for regional differences in opioid receptor distribution and for age- and sex-related differences in delta opioid receptor densities. The direction of change presents an interesting dichotomy in that, compared to

  1. The endogenous opioid system in cocaine addiction: what lessons have opioid peptide and receptor knockout mice taught us?

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Ji Hoon; Kitchen, Ian; Bailey, Alexis

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine addiction has become a major concern in the UK as Britain tops the European ‘league table’ for cocaine abuse. Despite its devastating health and socio-economic consequences, no effective pharmacotherapy for treating cocaine addiction is available. Identifying neurochemical changes induced by repeated drug exposure is critical not only for understanding the transition from recreational drug use towards compulsive drug abuse but also for the development of novel targets for the treatment of the disease and especially for relapse prevention. This article focuses on the effects of chronic cocaine exposure and withdrawal on each of the endogenous opioid peptides and receptors in rodent models. In addition, we review the studies that utilized opioid peptide or receptor knockout mice in order to identify and/or clarify the role of different components of the opioid system in cocaine-addictive behaviours and in cocaine-induced alterations of brain neurochemistry. The review of these studies indicates a region-specific activation of the µ-opioid receptor system following chronic cocaine exposure, which may contribute towards the rewarding effect of the drug and possibly towards cocaine craving during withdrawal followed by relapse. Cocaine also causes a region-specific activation of the κ-opioid receptor/dynorphin system, which may antagonize the rewarding effect of the drug, and at the same time, contribute to the stress-inducing properties of the drug and the triggering of relapse. These conclusions have important implications for the development of effective pharmacotherapy for the treatment of cocaine addiction and the prevention of relapse. PMID:22428846

  2. Kappa opioid receptor signaling protects cartilage tissue against posttraumatic degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shu; Shkhyan, Ruzanna; Lee, Siyoung; Gullo, Francesca; Petrigliano, Frank A.; Ba, Kai; Wang, Jing

    2017-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and pain relief with opioid-like drugs is a commonly used therapeutic for osteoarthritic patients. Recent studies published by our group showed that the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) is highly expressed during human development in joint-forming cells. However, the precise role of this receptor in the skeletal system remains elusive. The main aim of the current study was to investigate the role of KOR signaling in synovial and cartilaginous tissues in pathological conditions. Our data demonstrate that KOR null mice exhibit accelerated cartilage degeneration after injury when compared with WT mice. Activation of KOR signaling increased the expression of anabolic enzymes and inhibited cartilage catabolism and degeneration in response to proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α. In addition, selective KOR agonists increased joint lubrication via the activation of cAMP/CREB signaling in chondrocytes and synovial cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate direct effects of KOR agonists on cartilage and synovial cells and reveals a protective effect of KOR signaling against cartilage degeneration after injury. In addition to pain control, local administration of dynorphin or other KOR agonist represents an attractive therapeutic approach in patients with early stages of osteoarthritis. PMID:28097228

  3. Potent Dmt-Tic pharmacophoric delta- and mu-opioid receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingyou; Fujita, Yoshio; Shiotani, Kimitaka; Miyazaki, Anna; Tsuda, Yuko; Ambo, Akihiro; Sasaki, Yusuke; Jinsmaa, Yunden; Marczak, Ewa; Bryant, Sharon D; Salvadori, Severo; Lazarus, Lawrence H; Okada, Yoshio

    2005-12-15

    A series of dimeric Dmt-Tic (2',6'-dimethyl-L-tyrosyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid) analogues (8-14, 18-22) were covalently linked through diaminoalkane and symmetric or asymmetric 3,6-diaminoalkyl-2(1H)-pyrazinone moieties. All the compounds exhibited high affinity for both delta-opioid receptors [Ki(delta) = 0.06-1.53 nM] and mu-opioid receptors [Ki(mu) = 1.37-5.72 nM], resulting in moderate delta-receptor selectivity [Ki(mu)/Ki(delta) = 3-46]. Regardless of the type of linker between the Dmt-Tic pharmacophores, delta-opioid-mediated antagonism was extraordinarily high in all analogues (pA2 = 10.42-11.28), while in vitro agonism (MVD and GPI bioassays) was essentially absent (ca. 3 to >10 microM). While an unmodified N-terminus (9, 13, 18) revealed weak mu-opioid antagonism (pA2 = 6.78-6.99), N,N'-dimethylation (21, 22), which negatively impacts on mu-opioid-associated agonism (Balboni et al., Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2003, 11, 5435-5441), markedly enhanced mu-opioid antagonism (pA2 = 8.34 and 7.71 for 21 and 22, respectively) without affecting delta-opioid activity. These data are the first evidence that a single dimeric opioid ligand containing the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore exhibits highly potent delta- and mu-opioid antagonist activities.

  4. Combined autoradiographic-immunocytochemical analysis of opioid receptors and opioid peptide neuronal systems in brain

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, M.E.; Khachaturian, H.; Watson, S.J.

    1985-01-01

    Using adjacent section autoradiography-immunocytochemistry, the distribution of (TH)naloxone binding sites was studied in relation to neuronal systems containing (Leu)enkephalin, dynorphin A, or beta-endorphin immunoreactivity in rat brain. Brain sections from formaldehyde-perfused rats show robust specific binding of (TH)naloxone, the pharmacological (mu-like) properties of which appear unaltered. In contrast, specific binding of the delta ligand (TH)D-Ala2,D-Leu5-enkephalin was virtually totally eliminated as a result of formaldehyde perfusion. Using adjacent section analysis, the authors have noted associations between (TH)naloxone binding sites and one, two, or all three opioid systems in different brain regions; however, in some areas, no apparent relationship could be observed. Within regions, the relationship was complex. The complexity of the association between (TH)naloxone binding sites and the multiple opioid systems, and previous reports of co-localization of mu and kappa receptors in rat brain, are inconsistent with a simple-one-to-one relationship between a given opioid precursor and opioid receptor subtype. Instead, since differential processing of the three precursors gives rise to peptides of varying receptor subtype potencies and selectivities, the multiple peptide-receptor relationships may point to a key role of post-translational processing in determining the physiological consequences of opioid neurotransmission.

  5. The in vitro pharmacology of the peripherally restricted opioid receptor antagonists, alvimopan, ADL 08-0011 and methylnaltrexone.

    PubMed

    Beattie, D T; Cheruvu, M; Mai, N; O'Keefe, M; Johnson-Rabidoux, S; Peterson, C; Kaufman, E; Vickery, R

    2007-05-01

    This study characterized the pharmacology of the peripherally restricted opioid receptor antagonists, alvimopan, its metabolite, ADL 08-0011, and methylnaltrexone. The activities of the compounds were investigated with respect to human or guinea pig opioid receptor binding and function in recombinant cell lines and mechanical responsiveness of the guinea pig ileum. Alvimopan and ADL 08-0011 had higher binding affinity than methylnaltrexone at human mu opioid receptors (pK (i) values of 9.6, 9.6, and 8.0, respectively). The compounds had different selectivities for the mu receptor over human delta and guinea pig kappa opioid receptors. ADL 08-0011 had the highest mu receptor selectivity. With respect to their mu opioid receptor functional activity ([(35)S]GTPgammaS incorporation), methylnaltrexone had a positive intrinsic activity, consistent with partial agonism, unlike alvimopan and ADL 08-0011, which had negative intrinsic activities. Alvimopan, ADL 08-0011, and methylnaltrexone antagonized inhibitory responses mediated by the mu opioid agonist, endomorphin-1 (pA (2) values of 9.6, 9.4, and 7.6, respectively) and by U69593, a kappa opioid agonist (pA (2) values of 8.4, 7.2, and 6.7, respectively). In morphine-naive guinea pig ileum, methylnaltrexone reduced, while alvimopan and ADL 08-0011 increased, the amplitude of electrically evoked contractions and spontaneous mechanical activity. In tissue from morphine-dependent animals, alvimopan and ADL 08-0011 increased spontaneous activity to a greater degree than methylnaltrexone. The data suggested that alvimopan-induced contractions resulted predominantly from an interaction with kappa opioid receptors. It is concluded that alvimopan, ADL 08-0011, and methylnaltrexone differ in their in vitro pharmacological properties, particularly with respect to opioid receptor subtype selectivity and intrinsic activity. The clinical significance of the data from this study remains to be determined.

  6. Delta-opioid receptor (DOR) activation prolongs respiratory motor output during oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in neonatal rat spinal cord in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Sara M. F.; Johnson, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    Delta opioid receptor (DOR) activation protects the adult mammalian brain during oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), but it is not known whether neonatal spinal motor circuits are also protected. Also, it is unclear whether the timing of spinal DOR activation relative to spinal OGD is important for neuroprotection. Thus, a split-bath in vitro neonatal rat brainstem/spinal cord preparation was used to record spontaneous respiratory motor output from cervical (C4-C5) and thoracic (T5-T6) ventral spinal roots while exposing only the spinal cord to OGD solution (0 mM glucose, bubbled with 95% N2 / 5% CO2) or DOR agonist drugs (DADLE, DPDPE). Spinal OGD solution application caused respiratory motor output frequency and amplitude to decrease until all activity was abolished (i.e., end-point times) after 25.9 ± 1.4 min (cervical) and 25.2 ± 1.4 min (thoracic). Spinal DOR activation via DPDPE (1.0 μM) prior-to and during spinal OGD increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 35-48 min. Spinal DADLE or DPDPE (1.0 μM) application 15 min following spinal OGD onset increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 36-45 min. Brief spinal DPDPE (1.0 μM) application for 10 min at 25 min before spinal OGD onset increased cervical and thoracic end-point times to 41-46 min. Overall, the selective DOR agonist, DPDPE, was more effective at increasing end-point times than DADLE. Naltrindole (DOR antagonist; 10 μM) pretreatment blocked DPDPE-dependent increase in end-point times, suggesting that DOR activation was required. Spinal naloxone (1.0 μM) application before and during spinal OGD also increased end-point times to 31-33 min, but end-point times were not altered by MOR activation or DOR activation/MOR blockade, indicating that there are complex interactions between OGD and opioid signaling pathways. These data suggest DOR activation before, during, and after spinal OGD protects central motor networks and may provide neuroprotection during unpredictable perinatal

  7. The role of δ-opioid receptors in learning and memory underlying the development of addiction

    PubMed Central

    Klenowski, Paul; Morgan, Michael; Bartlett, Selena E

    2015-01-01

    Opioids are important endogenous ligands that exist in both invertebrates and vertebrates and signal by activation of opioid receptors to produce analgesia and reward or pleasure. The μ-opioid receptor is the best known of the opioid receptors and mediates the acute analgesic effects of opiates, while the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) has been less well studied and has been linked to effects that follow from chronic use of opiates such as stress, inflammation and anxiety. Recently, DORs have been shown to play an essential role in emotions and increasing evidence points to a role in learning actions and outcomes. The process of learning and memory in addiction has been proposed to involve strengthening of specific brain circuits when a drug is paired with a context or environment. The DOR is highly expressed in the hippocampus, amygdala, striatum and other basal ganglia structures known to participate in learning and memory. In this review, we will focus on the role of the DOR and its potential role in learning and memory underlying the development of addiction. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24641428

  8. Salvinorin A analogs and other κ-opioid receptor compounds as treatments for cocaine abuse.

    PubMed

    Kivell, Bronwyn M; Ewald, Amy W M; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2014-01-01

    Acute activation of kappa-opioid receptors produces anti-addictive effects by regulating dopamine levels in the brain. Unfortunately, classic kappa-opioid agonists have undesired side effects such as sedation, aversion, and depression, which restrict their clinical use. Salvinorin A (Sal A), a novel kappa-opioid receptor agonist extracted from the plant Salvia divinorum, has been identified as a potential therapy for drug abuse and addiction. Here, we review the preclinical effects of Sal A in comparison with traditional kappa-opioid agonists and several new analogs. Sal A retains the anti-addictive properties of traditional kappa-opioid receptor agonists with several improvements including reduced side effects. However, the rapid metabolism of Sal A makes it undesirable for clinical development. In an effort to improve the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of this compound, kappa-opioid receptor agonists based on the structure of Sal A have been synthesized. While work in this field is still in progress, several analogs with improved pharmacokinetic profiles have been shown to have anti-addictive effects. While in its infancy, it is clear that these compounds hold promise for the future development of anti-addictive therapeutics.

  9. Salvinorin A analogs and other kappa opioid receptor compounds as treatments for cocaine abuse

    PubMed Central

    Kivell, Bronwyn M; Ewald, Amy WM; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2014-01-01

    Acute activation of κ opioid receptors produces anti-addictive effects by regulating dopamine levels in the brain. Unfortunately, classic κ opioid agonists have undesired side effects such as sedation, aversion and depression which restrict their clinical use. Salvinorin A (Sal A), a novel κ opioid receptor agonist extracted from the plant Salvia divinorum, has been identified as a potential therapy for drug abuse and addiction. Here, we review the preclinical effects of Sal A in comparison with traditional κ opioid agonists and several new analogues. Sal A retains the anti-addictive properties of traditional κ opioid receptors agonists with several improvements including reduced side effects. However, the rapid metabolism of Sal A makes it undesirable for clinical development. In an effort to improve the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of this compound, κ opioid receptor agonists based on the structure of Sal A have been synthesized. While work in this field is still in progress, several analogues with improved pharmacokinetic profiles have been shown to have anti-addiction effects. While in its infancy, it is clear that these compounds hold promise for the future development of anti-addiction therapeutics. PMID:24484985

  10. Anti-nociception mediated by a κ opioid receptor agonist is blocked by a δ receptor agonist

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, A M W; Roberts, K W; Pradhan, A A; Akbari, H A; Walwyn, W; Lutfy, K; Carroll, F I; Cahill, C M; Evans, C J

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The opioid receptor family comprises four structurally homologous but functionally distinct sub-groups, the μ (MOP), δ (DOP), κ (KOP) and nociceptin (NOP) receptors. As most opioid agonists are selective but not specific, a broad spectrum of behaviours due to activation of different opioid receptors is expected. In this study, we examine whether other opioid receptor systems influenced KOP-mediated antinociception. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We used a tail withdrawal assay in C57Bl/6 mice to assay the antinociceptive effect of systemically administered opioid agonists with varying selectivity at KOP receptors. Pharmacological and genetic approaches were used to analyse the interactions of the other opioid receptors in modulating KOP-mediated antinociception. KEY RESULTS Etorphine, a potent agonist at all four opioid receptors, was not anti-nociceptive in MOP knockout (KO) mice, although etorphine is an efficacious KOP receptor agonist and specific KOP receptor agonists remain analgesic in MOP KO mice. As KOP receptor agonists are aversive, we considered KOP-mediated antinociception might be a form of stress-induced analgesia that is blocked by the anxiolytic effects of DOP receptor agonists. In support of this hypothesis, pretreatment with the DOP antagonist, naltrindole (10 mg·kg−1), unmasked etorphine (3 mg·kg−1) antinociception in MOP KO mice. Further, in wild-type mice, KOP-mediated antinociception by systemic U50,488H (10 mg·kg−1) was blocked by pretreatment with the DOP agonist SNC80 (5 mg·kg−1) and diazepam (1 mg·kg−1). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Systemic DOP receptor agonists blocked systemic KOP antinociception, and these results identify DOP receptor agonists as potential agents for reversing stress-driven addictive and depressive behaviours mediated through KOP receptor activation. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles

  11. Purification and characterization of mu-specific opioid receptor from rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    Hasegawa, J.; Cho, T.M.; Ge, B.L.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-03-05

    A mu-specific opioid receptor was purified to apparent homogeneity from rat brain membranes by 6-succinylmorphine affinity chromatography, Ultrogel filtration, wheat germ agglutinin affinity chromatography, and isoelectric focusing. The purified receptor had a molecular weight of 58,000 as determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and was judged to be homogeneous by the following criteria: (1) a single band on the SDS gel; and (2) a specific opioid binding activity of 17,720 pmole/mg protein, close to the theoretical value. In addition, the 58,000 molecular weight value agrees closely with that determined by covalently labelling purified receptor with bromoacetyl-/sup 3/H-dihydromorphine or with /sup 125/I-beta-endorphin and dimethyl suberimidate. To their knowledge, this is the first complete purification of an opioid receptor that retains its ability to bind opiates.

  12. Synthetic studies of neoclerodane diterpenes from Salvia divinorum: role of the furan in affinity for opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Denise S; Lovell, Kimberly M; Lozama, Anthony; Han, Nina; Day, Victor W; Dersch, Christina M; Rothman, Richard B; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2009-09-21

    Further synthetic modification of the furan ring of salvinorin A (1), the major active component of Salvia divinorum, has resulted in novel neoclerodane diterpenes with opioid receptor affinity and activity. A computational study has predicted 1 to be a reproductive toxicant in mammals and is suggestive that use of 1 may be associated with adverse effects. We report in this study that piperidine 21 and thiomorpholine 23 have been identified as selective partial agonists at kappa opioid receptors. This indicates that additional structural modifications of 1 may provide ligands with good selectivity for opioid receptors but with reduced potential for toxicity.

  13. Methamphetamine-induced stereotypy correlates negatively with patch-enhanced prodynorphin and arc mRNA expression in the rat caudate putamen: the role of mu opioid receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Horner, Kristen A; Noble, Erika S; Gilbert, Yamiece E

    2010-06-01

    Amphetamines induce stereotypy, which correlates with patch-enhanced c-Fos expression the patch compartment of caudate putamen (CPu). Methamphetamine (METH) treatment also induces patch-enhanced expression of prodynorphin (PD), arc and zif/268 in the CPu. Whether patch-enhanced activation of any of these genes correlates with METH-induced stereotypy is unknown, and the factors that contribute to this pattern of expression are poorly understood. Activation of mu opioid receptors, which are expressed by the neurons of the patch compartment, may underlie METH-induced patch-enhanced gene expression and stereotypy. The current study examined whether striatal mu opioid receptor blockade altered METH-induced stereotypy and patch-enhanced gene expression, and if there was a correlation between the two responses. Animals were intrastriatally infused with the mu antagonist CTAP (10 microg/microl), treated with METH (7.5 mg/kg, s.c.), placed in activity chambers for 3h, and then sacrificed. CTAP pretreatment attenuated METH-induced increases in PD, arc and zif/268 mRNA expression and significantly reduced METH-induced stereotypy. Patch-enhanced PD and arc mRNA expression in the dorsolateral CPu correlated negatively with METH-induced stereotypy. These data indicate that mu opioid receptor activation contributes to METH-induced gene expression in the CPu and stereotypy, and that patch-enhanced PD and arc expression may be a homeostatic response to METH treatment.

  14. Comparing analgesia and μ-opioid receptor internalization produced by intrathecal enkephalin

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wenling; Song, Bingbing; Lao, Lijun; Pérez, Orlando A.; Kim, Woojae; Marvizón, Juan Carlos G.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Opioid receptors in the spinal cord produce strong analgesia, but the mechanisms controlling their activation by endogenous opioids remain unclear. We have previously shown in spinal cord slices that peptidases preclude μ-opioid receptor (MOR) internalization by opioids. Our present goals were to investigate whether enkephalin-induced analgesia is also precluded by peptidases, and whether it is mediated by MORs or δ-opioid receptors (DORs). Tail-flick analgesia and MOR internalization were measured in rats injected intrathecally with Leu-enkephalin and peptidase inhibitors. Without peptidase inhibitors, Leu-enkephalin produced neither analgesia nor MOR internalization at doses up to 100 nmol, whereas with peptidase inhibitors it produced analgesia at 0.3 nmol and MOR internalization at 1 nmol. Leu-enkephalin was ten times more potent to produce analgesia than to produce MOR internalization, suggesting that DORs were involved. Selective MOR or DOR antagonists completely blocked the analgesia elicited by 0.3 nmol Leu-enkephalin (a dose that produced little MOR internalization), indicating that it involved these two receptors, possibly by an additive or synergistic interaction. The selective MOR agonist endomorphin-2 produced analgesia even in the presence of a DOR antagonist, but at doses substantially higher than Leu-enkephalin. Unlike Leu-enkephalin, endomorphin-2 had the same potencies to induce analgesia and MOR internalization. We concluded that low doses of enkephalins produce analgesia by activating both MORs and DORs. Analgesia can also be produced exclusively by MORs at higher agonist doses. Since peptidases prevent the activation of spinal opioid receptors by enkephalins, the coincident release of opioids and endogenous peptidase inhibitors may be required for analgesia. PMID:17845806

  15. In Vivo Techniques to Investigate the Internalization Profile of Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Amynah A.; Tawfik, Vivianne L.; Laboy, Alycia F.; Scherrer, Grégory

    2015-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate a remarkable diversity of biological functions, and are thus often targeted for drug therapies. Receptor internalization is commonly observed following agonist binding and activation. Receptor trafficking events have been well characterized in cell systems, but the in vivo significance of GPCR internalization is still poorly understood. To address this issue, we have developed an innovative knock-in mouse model, where an opioid receptor is directly visible in vivo. These knockin mice express functional fluorescent delta opioid receptors (DOR-eGFP) in place of the endogenous receptor, and these receptors are expressed at physiological levels within their native environment. DOR-eGFP mice have proven to be an extraordinary tool in studying receptor neuroanatomy, real-time receptor trafficking in live neurons, and in vivo receptor internalization. We have used this animal model to determine the relationship between receptor trafficking in neurons and receptor function at a behavioral level. Here, we describe in detail the construction and characterization of this knockin mouse. We also outline how to use these mice to examine the behavioral consequences of agonist-specific trafficking at the delta opioid receptor. These techniques are potentially applicable to any GPCR, and highlight the powerful nature of this imaging tool. PMID:25293318

  16. Nucleus accumbens μ-opioid receptors mediate social reward.

    PubMed

    Trezza, Viviana; Damsteegt, Ruth; Achterberg, E J Marijke; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J

    2011-04-27

    Positive social interactions are essential for emotional well-being and proper behavioral development of young individuals. Here, we studied the neural underpinnings of social reward by investigating the involvement of opioid neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in social play behavior, a highly rewarding social interaction in adolescent rats. Intra-NAc infusion of morphine (0.05-0.1 μg) increased pinning and pouncing, characteristic elements of social play behavior in rats, and blockade of NAc opioid receptors with naloxone (0.5 μg) prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine (1 mg/kg, s.c.) administration. Thus, stimulation of opioid receptors in the NAc was necessary and sufficient for morphine to increase social play. Intra-NAc treatment with the selective μ-opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala(2),N-MePhe(4),Gly(5)-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO) (0.1-10 ng) and the μ-opioid receptor antagonist Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP) (0.3-3 μg) increased and decreased social play, respectively. The δ-opioid receptor agonist DPDPE ([D-Pen(2),D-Pen(5)]-enkephalin) (0.3-3 μg) had no effects, whereas the κ-opioid receptor agonist U69593 (N-methyl-2-phenyl-N-[(5R,7S,8S)-7-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)-1-oxaspiro[4.5]dec-8-yl]acetamide) (0.01-1 μg) decreased social play. Intra-NAc treatment with β-endorphin (0.01-1 μg) increased social play, but met-enkephalin (0.1-5 μg) and the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan (0.1-1 μg) were ineffective. DAMGO (0.1-10 ng) increased social play after infusion into both the shell and core subregions of the NAc. Last, intra-NAc infusion of CTAP (3 μg) prevented the development of social play-induced conditioned place preference. These findings identify NAc μ-opioid receptor stimulation as an important neural mechanism for the attribution of positive value to social interactions in adolescent rats. Altered NAc μ-opioid receptor function may underlie social impairments in psychiatric disorders such as autism

  17. Non-analgesic effects of opioids: management of opioid-induced constipation by peripheral opioid receptor antagonists: prevention or withdrawal?

    PubMed

    Holzer, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The therapeutic action of opioid analgesics is compromised by peripheral adverse effects among which opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is the most disabling, with a prevalence reported to vary between 15 and 90 %. Although OIC is usually treated with laxatives, there is insufficient clinical evidence that laxatives are efficacious in this indication. In contrast, there is ample evidence from double- blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trials that peripheral opioid receptor antagonists (PORAs) counteract OIC. This specific treatment modality is currently based on subcutaneous methylnaltrexone for the interruption of OIC in patients with advanced illness, and a fixed combination of oral prolonged-release naloxone with prolonged-release oxycodone for the prevention of OIC in the treatment of non-cancer and cancer pain. Both drugs counteract OIC while the analgesic effect of opioids remains unabated. The clinical studies show that more than 50 % of the patients with constipation under opioid therapy may benefit from the use of PORAs, while PORA-resistant patients are likely to suffer from non-opioid-induced constipation, the prevalence of which increases with age. While the addition of naloxone to oxycodone seems to act by preventing OIC, the intermittent dosing of methylnaltrexone every other day seems to stimulate defaecation by provoking an intestinal withdrawal response. The availability of PORAs provides a novel opportunity to specifically control OIC and other peripheral adverse effects of opioid analgesics (e.g., urinary retention and pruritus). The continuous dosing of a PORA has the advantage of few adverse effects, while intermittent dosing of a PORA can be associated with abdominal cramp-like pain.

  18. Pharmacogenomic study of the role of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor and opioid receptors in diabetic hyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Rutten, Kris; Tzschentke, Thomas M; Koch, Thomas; Schiene, Klaus; Christoph, Thomas

    2014-10-15

    Targeting functionally independent receptors may provide synergistic analgesic effects in neuropathic pain. To examine the interdependency between different opioid receptors (µ-opioid peptide [MOP], δ-opioid peptide [DOP] and κ-opioid peptide [KOP]) and the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptor in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic polyneuropathy, nocifensive activity was measured using a hot plate test in wild-type and NOP, MOP, DOP and KOP receptor knockout mice in response to the selective receptor agonists Ro65-6570, morphine, SNC-80 and U50488H, or vehicle. Nocifensive activity was similar in non-diabetic wild-type and knockout mice at baseline, before agonist or vehicle administration. STZ-induced diabetes significantly increased heat sensitivity in all mouse strains, but MOP, DOP and KOP receptor knockouts showed a smaller degree of hyperalgesia than wild-type mice and NOP receptor knockouts. For each agonist, a significant antihyperalgesic effect was observed in wild-type diabetic mice (all P<0.05 versus vehicle); the effect was markedly attenuated in diabetic mice lacking the cognate receptor compared with wild-type diabetic mice. Morphine was the only agonist that demonstrated near-full antihyperalgesic efficacy across all non-cognate receptor knockouts. Partial or near-complete reductions in efficacy were observed with Ro65-6570 in DOP and KOP receptor knockouts, with SNC-80 in NOP, MOP and KOP receptor knockouts, and with U50488H in NOP and DOP receptor knockouts. There was no evidence of NOP and MOP receptor interdependency in response to selective agonists for these receptors. These findings suggest that concurrent activation of NOP and MOP receptors, which showed functional independence, may yield an effective and favorable therapeutic analgesic profile.

  19. Mouse δ opioid receptors are located on presynaptic afferents to hippocampal pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Rezaï, Xavier; Faget, Lauren; Bednarek, Ewa; Schwab, Yannick; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Massotte, Dominique

    2012-05-01

    Delta opioid receptors participate in the control of chronic pain and emotional responses. Recent data have also identified their implication in drug-context associations pointing to a modulatory role on hippocampal activity. We used fluorescent knock-in mice that express a functional delta opioid receptor fused at its carboxy terminus with the green fluorescent protein in place of the native receptor to investigate the receptor neuroanatomical distribution in this structure. Fine mapping of the pyramidal layer was performed in hippocampal acute brain slices and organotypic cultures using fluorescence confocal imaging, co-localization with pre- and postsynaptic markers and correlative light-electron microscopy. The different approaches concurred to identify delta opioid receptors on presynaptic afferents to glutamatergic principal cells. In the latter, only scarce receptors were detected that were confined within the Golgi or vesicular intracellular compartments with no receptor present at the cell surface. In the mouse hippocampus, expression of functional delta opioid receptors is therefore mostly associated with interneurons emphasizing a presynaptic modulatory effect on the pyramidal cell firing rate.

  20. Distribution of delta opioid receptor expressing neurons in the mouse hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Eric, ERBS; Lauren, FAGET; Gregory, SCHERRER; Pascal, KESSLER; Didier, HENTSCH; Jean-Luc, VONESCH; Audrey, MATIFAS; Brigitte L., KIEFFER; Dominique, MASSOTTE

    2012-01-01

    Delta opioid receptors participate to the control of chronic pain and emotional responses. Recent data also identified their implication in spatial memory and drug-context associations pointing to a critical role of hippocampal delta receptors. We examined the distribution of delta receptor-expressing cells in the hippocampus using fluorescent knock-in mice that express a functional delta receptor fused at its carboxyterminus with the green fluorescent protein in place of the native receptor. Colocalization with markers for different neuronal populations was performed by immunohistochemical detection. Fine mapping in the dorsal hippocampus confirmed that delta opioid receptors are mainly present in GABAergic neurons. Indeed, they are mostly expressed in parvalbumin-immunopositive neurons both in the Ammon’s horn and dentate gyrus. These receptors, therefore, most likely participate to the dynamic regulation of hippocampal activity. PMID:22750239

  1. Distribution of delta opioid receptor-expressing neurons in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Erbs, E; Faget, L; Scherrer, G; Kessler, P; Hentsch, D; Vonesch, J-L; Matifas, A; Kieffer, B L; Massotte, D

    2012-09-27

    Delta opioid receptors participate to the control of chronic pain and emotional responses. Recent data also identified their implication in spatial memory and drug-context associations pointing to a critical role of hippocampal delta receptors. We examined the distribution of delta receptor-expressing cells in the hippocampus using fluorescent knock-in mice that express a functional delta receptor fused at its carboxyterminus with the green fluorescent protein in place of the native receptor. Colocalization with markers for different neuronal populations was performed by immunohistochemical detection. Fine mapping in the dorsal hippocampus confirmed that delta opioid receptors are mainly present in GABAergic neurons. Indeed, they are mostly expressed in parvalbumin-immunopositive neurons both in the Ammon's horn and dentate gyrus. These receptors, therefore, most likely participate in the dynamic regulation of hippocampal activity.

  2. Opioid receptors regulate the extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    McNally, Gavan P; Westbrook, R Frederick

    2003-12-01

    Rats received a single pairing of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with a footshock unconditioned stimulus (US). The fear (freezing) that had accrued to the CS was then extinguished. Injection of naloxone prior to this extinction significantly impaired the development of extinction. This impairment was mediated by opioid receptors in the brain and was not observed when naloxone was injected after extinction training. Finally, an injection of naloxone on test failed to reinstate extinguished responding that had already accrued to the CS. These experiments show that opioid receptors regulate the development, but not the expression, of fear extinction and are discussed with reference to the roles of opioid receptors in US processing, memory, and appetitive motivation.

  3. Role of opioid receptors in the reinstatement of opioid-seeking behavior: an overview.

    PubMed

    Fattore, Liana; Fadda, Paola; Antinori, Silvia; Fratta, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Opioid abuse in humans is characterized by discontinuous periods of drug use and abstinence. With time, the probability of falling into renewed drug consumption becomes particularly high and constitutes a considerable problem in the management of heroin addicts. The major problem in the treatment of opioid dependence still remains the occurrence of relapse, to which stressful life events, renewed use of heroin, and exposure to drug-associated environmental cues are all positively correlated. To study the neurobiology of relapse, many research groups currently use the reinstatement animal model, which greatly contributed to disentangle the mechanisms underlying relapse to drug-seeking in laboratory animals. The use of this model is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and new versions have been recently developed to better appreciate the differential contribution of each opioid receptor subtype to the relapse phenomenon. In this chapter we review the state of the art of our knowledge on the specific role of the opioid receptors as unrevealed by the reinstatement animal model of opioid-seeking behavior.

  4. Comparison of pharmacological activities of three distinct kappa ligands (Salvinorin A, TRK-820 and 3FLB) on kappa opioid receptors in vitro and their antipruritic and antinociceptive activities in vivo.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yulin; Tang, Kang; Inan, Saadet; Siebert, Daniel; Holzgrabe, Ulrike; Lee, David Y W; Huang, Peng; Li, Jian-Guo; Cowan, Alan; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan

    2005-01-01

    Salvinorin A, TRK-820 (17-cyclopropylmethyl-3,14beta-dihydroxy-4,5alpha-epoxy-6beta-[N-methyl-trans-3-(3-furyl) acrylamido]morphinan hydrochloride), and 3FLB (diethyl 2,4-di-[3-fluorophenyl]-3,7-dimethyl-3,7-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane-9-one-1,5-dicarboxylate) are structurally distinctly different from U50,488H [(trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-cyclohexyl]benzeneacetamide methanesulfonate], the prototypic selective kappa agonist. Here, we investigated their in vitro pharmacological activities on receptors expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells and in vivo antiscratch and antinociceptive activities in mice. All three compounds showed high selectivity for the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) over the mu opioid receptor (MOR) and delta opioid receptor (DOR) and nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptors. In the guanosine 5'-O-(3-[(35)S]thio)triphosphate ([(35)S]GTPgammaS) binding assay, all three were full agonists on the KOR. The rank order of affinity and potency for the KOR was TRK-820 > U50,488H approximately salvinorin A > 3FLB. TRK-820 acted as a partial agonist on MOR and DOR, whereas salvinorin A and 3FLB showed no activities on these receptors. Salvinorin A, TRK-820, and 3FLB caused internalization of the human KOR in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, although salvinorin A and U50,488H had similar potencies in stimulating [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding, salvinorin A was about 40-fold less potent than U50,488H in promoting internalization. Following 4-h incubation, all three compounds induced down-regulation of the human KOR, with salvinorin A causing a lower extent of down-regulation. Although TRK-820 was potent and efficacious against compound 48/80-induced scratching, salvinorin A showed low and inconsistent effects, and 3FLB was inactive. In addition, salvinorin A and 3FLB were not active in the acetic acid abdominal constriction test. The discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo results may be due to in vivo metabolism of salvinorin A and 3FLB and

  5. Molecular modeling study of the differential ligand-receptor interaction at the μ, δ and κ opioid receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filizola, Marta; Carteni-Farina, Maria; Perez, Juan J.

    1999-07-01

    3D models of the opioid receptors μ, δ and κ were constructed using BUNDLE, an in-house program to build de novo models of G-protein coupled receptors at the atomic level. Once the three opioid receptors were constructed and before any energy refinement, models were assessed for their compatibility with the results available from point-site mutations carried out on these receptors. In a subsequent step, three selective antagonists to each of three receptors (naltrindole, naltrexone and nor-binaltorphamine) were docked onto each of the three receptors and subsequently energy minimized. The nine resulting complexes were checked for their ability to explain known results of structure-activity studies. Once the models were validated, analysis of the distances between different residues of the receptors and the ligands were computed. This analysis permitted us to identify key residues tentatively involved in direct interaction with the ligand.

  6. Studies of the Mu-Opioid Receptor/G-protein Complex Affinity Co-Purified and Membrane Preparations from 7315c Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-06-09

    population of mu-opioid receptors. Morphine, an opioid agonist, inhibits prolactin secretion, in part, by inhibiting adenylyl cyclase activity via...interaction with multiple G-proteins in the 7315c cell membrane is that mu-opioid agonists inhibit prolactin secretion from this cell via the generation of...secretion. The receptor mediated activation of either Gil or Gi2 and subsequent inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity would inhibit prolactin secretion

  7. Nicotine enhancement and reinforcer devaluation: Interaction with opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Kirshenbaum, Ari P; Suhaka, Jesse A; Phillips, Jessie L; Voltolini de Souza Pinto, Maiary

    In rats, nicotine enhances responding maintained by non-pharmacological reinforcers, and discontinuation of nicotine devalues those same reinforcers. The goal of this study was to assess the interaction of nicotine and opioid receptors and to evaluate the degree to which nicotine enhancement and nicotine-induced devaluation are related to opioid activation. Nicotine (0.4mg/kg), or nicotine plus naloxone (0.3 or 3.0mg/kg), was delivered to rats prior to progressive ratio (PR) schedule sessions in which sucrose was used as a reinforcer. PR-schedule responding was assessed during ten daily sessions of drug delivery, and for three post-dosing days/sessions. Control groups for this investigation included a saline-only condition, and naloxone-only (0.3 or 3.0mg/kg) conditions. When administered in conjunction with nicotine, both naloxone doses attenuated nicotine enhancement of the sucrose reinforcer, and the combination of the larger dose of naloxone (3.0mg/kg) with nicotine produced significant impairments in sucrose reinforced responding. When administered alone, neither dose of naloxone (0.3 & 3.0mg/kg) significantly altered responding in comparison to saline. Furthermore, when dosing was discontinued after ten once-daily doses, all nicotine groups (nicotine-only and nicotine+naloxone combination) demonstrated significant decreases in sucrose reinforcement compared to the saline group. Although opioid antagonism attenuated reinforcement enhancement by nicotine, it did not prevent reinforcer devaluation upon discontinuation of nicotine dosing, and the higher dose of naloxone (3.0mg/kg) produced decrements upon discontinuation on its own in the absence of nicotine.

  8. A structural feature of the non-peptide ligand interactions with mice mu-opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Noori, Hamid R; Mucksch, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M

    2014-01-01

    By binding to and activating the G-protein coupled μ-, κ- and δ-opioid receptors in the central nervous system, opiates are known to induce analgesic and sedative effects. In particular, non-peptide opioid ligands are often used in clinical applications to induce these therapeutically beneficial effects, due to their superior pharmacokinetics and bioavailability in comparison to endogenous neuropeptides. However, since opioid alkaloids are highly addictive substances, it is necessary to understand the exact mechanisms of their actions, specifically the ligand-binding properties of the target receptors, in order to safely apply opiates for therapeutic purposes. Using an in silico molecular docking approach (AutoDock Vina) combined with two-step cluster analysis, we have computationally obtained the docking scores and the ligand-binding pockets of twelve representative non-peptide nonendogenous agonists and antagonists at the crystallographically identified μ-opioid receptor. Our study predicts the existence of two main binding sites that are congruently present in all opioid receptor types. Interestingly, in terms of the agonist or antagonist properties of the substances on the receptors, the clustering analysis suggests a relationship with the position of the ligand-binding pockets, particularly its depth within the receptor structure. Furthermore, the binding affinity of the substances is directly correlated to the proximity of the binding pockets to the extracellular space. In conclusion, the results provide further insights into the structural features of the functional pharmacology of opioid receptors, suggesting the importance of the binding position of non-peptide agonists and antagonists- specifically the distance and the level of exposure to the extracellular space- to their dissociation kinetics and subsequent potency.

  9. Opioid desensitization: interactions with G-protein-coupled receptors in the locus coeruleus.

    PubMed

    Fiorillo, C D; Williams, J T

    1996-02-15

    In rat locus coeruleus (LC) neurons, alpha 2 adrenoceptors, mu-opioid and somatostatin receptors all activate the same potassium conductance. Chronic treatment with morphine causes a loss of sensitivity that is specific to the mu-opioid response, with no change in the alpha 2 adrenoceptor-mediated response. Acute desensitization induced by opioid, somatostatin, and alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonists was studied in brain slices of rat LC using intracellular recording. A supramaximal concentration of the opioid agonist Met5-enkephalin induced a profound homologous desensitization but little heterologous desensitization to an alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist (UK 14304) or somatostatin. All desensitized currents showed partial recovery. A supramaximal concentration of UK14304 caused a relatively small amount of desensitization. Although little interaction was observed among inhibitory G-protein-coupled receptors, activation of an excitatory receptor had marked effects on inhibitory responses. Muscarinic agonists, which produce an inward current in LC neurons, reduced the magnitude of agonist-induced outward currents and increased both the rate and amount of opioid desensitization. Muscarinic activation did not alter desensitization of alpha 2-adrenoceptor responses. Acute desensitization shares several characteristics with the tolerance induced by chronic morphine treatment of animals.

  10. Opioid receptor internalization contributes to dermorphin-mediated antinociception

    PubMed Central

    Macey, Tara A.; Ingram, Susan L.; Bobeck, Erin N.; Hegarty, Deborah M.; Aicher, Sue A.; Arttamangkul, Seksiri; Morgan, Michael M.

    2010-01-01

    Microinjection of opioids into the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) produces antinociception in part by binding to mu-opioid receptors (MOPrs). Although both high and low efficacy agonists produce antinociception, low efficacy agonists such as morphine produce limited MOPr internalization suggesting that MOPr internalization and signaling leading to antinociception are independent. This hypothesis was tested in awake, behaving rats using DERM-A594, a fluorescently labeled dermorphin analog, and internalization blockers. Microinjection of DERM-A594 into the vlPAG produced both antinociception and internalization of DERM-A594. Administration of the irreversible opioid receptor antagonist beta-CNA prior to DERM-A594 microinjection reduced both the antinociceptive effect and the number of DERM-A594 labeled cells demonstrating that both effects are opioid receptor-mediated. Pretreatment with the internalization blockers dynamin dominant-negative inhibitory peptide (dynamin-DN) and concanavalinA (ConA) attenuated both DERM-A594 internalization and antinociception. Microinjection of dynamin-DN and ConA also decreased the antinociceptive potency of the unlabeled opioid agonist dermorphin when microinjected into the vlPAG as demonstrated by rightward shifts in the dose-response curves. In contrast, administration of dynamin-DN had no effect on the antinociceptive effect of microinjecting the GABAA antagonist bicuculline into the vlPAG. The finding that dermorphin-induced antinociception is attenuated by blocking receptor internalization indicates that key parts of opioid receptor-mediated signaling depend on internalization. PMID:20394808

  11. Structural improvement of compounds with analgesic activity: AC-MPF4, a compound with mixed anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activity via opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Rossato, Mateus Fortes; Oliveira, Sara Marchesan; Trevisan, Gabriela; Rotta, Mariane; Machado, Pablo; Martins, Marcos A P; Ferreira, Juliano

    2015-02-01

    Successful pain control is a world health problem, which indicates an ever-growing need in the discovery of new molecules with improved analgesic activity and reduced side effects. The aim of this study was to describe the synthesis and biological activity of AC-MPF4, a new acetyl- and pyrazole-containing molecule derivate from MPF4. Firstly, we evaluated the analgesic and anti-edematogenic effect of AC-MPF4 in the carrageenan test. AC-MPF4 presented similar analgesic properties to MPF4 (opioid drug) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA-a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) (maximal effect of 85.4±10.9%, 62.0±11.0% and 95.0±10.4% of allodynia reduction, respectively). Regarding anti-edematogenic properties, AC-MPF4 presented similar results to ASA, while MPF4 presented no effect (maximal effect of 42.2±8.3% and 46.1±5.1% in paw thickness reduction, respectively). Remarkably, Naloxone fully prevented the analgesic effect of MPF4 and partially prevented the analgesic effect of AC-MPF4. However, neither ASA nor the anti-edematogenic activity was affected by Naloxone. The gastrointestinal motility and gastric mucosa integrity, which are parameters affected by opioid and NSAID drugs, respectively, were also evaluated. Neither of these parameters showed alterations induced by AC-MPF4, whereas ASA induced gastric ulceration (10 fold higher), and MPF4 decreased gastrointestinal motility (62.0±7.7%). Together, these data indicate that AC-MPF4 presents good analgesic and anti-edematogenic effects with no detectable side effects. AC-MPF4 may be considered a good prototype for the development of new analgesic/anti-inflammatory drugs.

  12. Activation of Mas oncogene-related gene (Mrg) C receptors enhances morphine-induced analgesia through modulation of coupling of μ-opioid receptor to Gi-protein in rat spinal dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Wang, D; Chen, T; Zhou, X; Couture, R; Hong, Y

    2013-12-03

    Mas oncogene-related gene (Mrg) G protein-coupled receptors are exclusively expressed in small-sized neurons in trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in mammals. The present study investigated the effect of MrgC receptor activation on morphine analgesic potency and addressed its possible mechanisms. Intrathecal (i.t.) administration of the specific MrgC receptor agonist bovine adrenal medulla 8-22 (BAM8-22, 3 nmol) increased morphine-induced analgesia and shifted the morphine dose-response curve to the left in rats. Acute morphine (5 μg) reduced the coupling of μ-opioid receptors (MORs) to Gi-, but not Gs-, protein in the spinal dorsal horn. The i.t. BAM8-22 (3 nmol) prevented this change of G-protein repertoire while the inactive MrgC receptor agonist BAM8-18 (3 nmol, i.t.) failed to do so. A double labeling study showed the co-localization of MrgC and MORs in DRG neurons. The i.t. BAM8-22 also increased the coupling of MORs to Gi-protein and recruited Gi-protein from cytoplasm to the cell membrane in the spinal dorsal horn. Application of BAM8-22 (10nM) in the cultured ganglion explants for 30 min increased Gi-protein mRNA, but not Gs-protein mRNA. The present study demonstrated that acute administration of morphine inhibited the repertoire of MOR/Gi-protein coupling in the spinal dorsal horn in vivo. The findings highlight a novel mechanism by which the activation of MrgC receptors can modulate the coupling of MORs with Gi-protein to enhance morphine-induced analgesia. Hence, adjunct treatment of MrgC agonist BAM8-22 may be of therapeutic value to relieve pain.

  13. Impact of chronic morphine on delta opioid receptor expressing neurons in the mouse hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Eric, Erbs; Lauren, Faget; Alice, Ceredig Rhian; Audrey, Matifas; Jean-Luc, Vonesch; L., Kieffer Brigitte; Dominique, Massotte

    2015-01-01

    Delta opioid receptors participate to the control of chronic pain and emotional responses. Recent data also identified their implication in spatial memory and drug-context associations pointing to a critical role of hippocampal delta receptors. To better appreciate the impact of repeated drug exposure on their modulatory activity, we used fluorescent knock-in mice that express a functional delta receptor fused at its carboxy-terminus with the green fluorescent protein in place of the native receptor. We then tested the impact of chronic morphine treatment on the density and distribution of delta receptor-expressing cells in the hippocampus. A decrease in delta receptor positive cell density was observed in the CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus without alteration of the distribution across the different GABAergic populations that mainly express delta receptors. This effect partly persisted after four weeks of morphine abstinence. In addition, we observed increased delta opioid receptor expression at the cell surface compared to saline treated animals. In the hippocampus, chronic morphine administration thus induces delta opioid receptor cellular redistribution and durably decreases delta receptor-expressing cell density. Such modifications are likely to alter hippocampal physiology, and to contribute to long-term cognitive deficits. PMID:26480813

  14. The critical role of spinal 5-HT7 receptors in opioid and non-opioid type stress-induced analgesia.

    PubMed

    Yesilyurt, Ozgur; Seyrek, Melik; Tasdemir, Serdar; Kahraman, Serdar; Deveci, Mehmet Salih; Karakus, Emre; Halici, Zekai; Dogrul, Ahmet

    2015-09-05

    The opioid and non-opioid types of stress-induced analgesia have been well defined. One of the non-opioid type involve the endocannabinoid system. We previously reported that the spinal serotonin 7 receptor (5-HT7) blockers inhibit both morphine and cannabinoid-induced analgesia, thus we hypothesized that descending serotonergic pathways-spinal 5-HT7 receptor loop might contribute to stress-induced analgesia. Stress-induced analgesia was induced with warm (32°C) or cold (20°C) water swim stress in male Balb-C mice. The effects of intrathecal injection of a selective 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, SB 269970, of the denervation of serotonergic neurons by intrathecal administration of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) and of lesions of the dorsolateral funiculus on opioid and non-opioid type stress-induced analgesia were evaluated with the tail-flick and hot plate tests. The expression of 5-HT7 receptors mRNA in the dorsal lumbar region of spinal cord were analyzed by RT-PCR following spinal serotonin depletion or dorsolateral funiculus lesion. The effects of the selective 5-HT7 receptor agonists LP 44 and AS 19 were tested on nociception. Intrathecal SB 269970 blocked both opioid and non-opioid type stress-induced analgesia. Dorsolateral funiculus lesion or denervation of the spinal serotonergic neurons resulted in a marked decrease in 5-HT7 receptor expression in the dorsal lumbar spinal cord, accompanied by inhibition of opioid and non-opioid type stress-induced analgesia. However, the systemic or intrathecal LP 44 and AS 19 alone did not produce analgesia in unstressed mice. These results indicate that descending serotonergic pathways and the spinal 5-HT7 receptor loop play a crucial role in mediating both opioid and non-opioid type stress-induced analgesia.

  15. Structure-based design, synthesis, and biochemical and pharmacological characterization of novel salvinorin A analogues as active state probes of the kappa-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Yan, Feng; Bikbulatov, Ruslan V; Mocanu, Viorel; Dicheva, Nedyalka; Parker, Carol E; Wetsel, William C; Mosier, Philip D; Westkaemper, Richard B; Allen, John A; Zjawiony, Jordan K; Roth, Bryan L

    2009-07-28

    Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, has attracted an increasing amount of attention since the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) was identified as its principal molecular target by us [Roth, B. L., et al. (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99, 11934-11939]. Here we report the design, synthesis, and biochemical characterization of novel, irreversible, salvinorin A-derived ligands suitable as active state probes of the KOR. On the basis of prior substituted cysteine accessibility and molecular modeling studies, C315(7.38) was chosen as a potential anchoring point for covalent labeling of salvinorin A-derived ligands. Automated docking of a series of potential covalently bound ligands suggested that either a haloacetate moiety or other similar electrophilic groups could irreversibly bind with C315(7.38). 22-Thiocyanatosalvinorin A (RB-64) and 22-chlorosalvinorin A (RB-48) were both found to be extraordinarily potent and selective KOR agonists in vitro and in vivo. As predicted on the basis of molecular modeling studies, RB-64 induced wash-resistant inhibition of binding with a strict requirement for a free cysteine in or near the binding pocket. Mass spectrometry (MS) studies utilizing synthetic KOR peptides and RB-64 supported the hypothesis that the anchoring residue was C315(7.38) and suggested one biochemical mechanism for covalent binding. These studies provide direct evidence of the presence of a free cysteine in the agonist-bound state of the KOR and provide novel insights into the mechanism by which salvinorin A binds to and activates the KOR.

  16. Synergy between mu opioid ligands: evidence for functional interactions among mu opioid receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

    Bolan, Elizabeth A; Tallarida, Ronald J; Pasternak, Gavril W

    2002-11-01

    Pharmacological differences among mu opioid drugs have been observed in in vitro and in vivo preclinical models, as well as clinically, implying that all mu opioids may not be working through the same mechanism of action. Here we demonstrate analgesic synergy between L-methadone and several mu opioid ligands. Of the compounds examined, L-methadone selectively synergizes with morphine, morphine-6beta-glucuronide, codeine, and the active metabolite of heroin, 6-acetylmorphine. Morphine synergizes only with L-methadone. In analgesic assays, D-methadone was inactive alone and did not enhance morphine analgesia when the two were given together, confirming that L-methadone was not acting through N-methyl-D-aspartate mechanisms. Both L-methadone and morphine displayed only additive effects when paired with oxymorphone, oxycodone, fentanyl, alfentanyl, or meperidine. Although it displays synergy in analgesic assays, the L-methadone/morphine combination does not exhibit synergy in the gastrointestinal transit assay. This analgesic synergy of L-methadone with selective mu opioid drugs and the differences in opioid-mediated actions suggest that these drugs may be acting via different mechanisms. These findings provide further evidence for the complexity of the pharmacology of mu opioids.

  17. Desensitization of functional µ-opioid receptors increases agonist off-rate.

    PubMed

    Williams, John T

    2014-07-01

    Desensitization of µ-opioid receptors (MORs) develops over 5-15 minutes after the application of some, but not all, opioid agonists and lasts for tens of minutes after agonist removal. The decrease in function is receptor selective (homologous) and could result from 1) a reduction in receptor number or 2) a decrease in receptor coupling. The present investigation used photolysis of two caged opioid ligands to examine the kinetics of MOR-induced potassium conductance before and after MOR desensitization. Photolysis of a caged antagonist, carboxynitroveratryl-naloxone (caged naloxone), blocked the current induced by a series of agonists, and the time constant of decline was significantly decreased after desensitization. The increase in the rate of current decay was not observed after partial blockade of receptors with the irreversible antagonist, β-chlornaltrexamine (β-CNA). The time constant of current decay after desensitization was never more rapid than 1 second, suggesting an increased agonist off-rate rather than an increase in the rate of channel closure downstream of the receptor. The rate of G protein-coupled K(+) channel (GIRK) current activation was examined using photolysis of a caged agonist, carboxynitrobenzyl-tyrosine-[Leu(5)]-enkephalin. After acute desensitization or partial irreversible block of MORs with β-CNA, there was an increase in the time it took to reach a peak current. The decrease in the rate of agonist-induced GIRK conductance was receptor selective and dependent on receptor number. The results indicate that opioid receptor desensitization reduced the number of functional receptor and that the remaining active receptors have a reduced agonist affinity.

  18. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of a potent opioid receptor agonist, biphalin, compared to subtype-selective opioid receptor agonists for stroke treatment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Islam, Mohammad R; Karamyan, Vardan T; Abbruscato, Thomas J

    2015-06-03

    To meet the challenge of identification of new treatments for stroke, this study was designed to evaluate a potent, nonselective opioid receptor (OR) agonist, biphalin, in comparison to subtype selective OR agonists, as a potential neuroprotective drug candidate using in vitro and in vivo models of ischemic stroke. Our in vitro approach included mouse primary neuronal cells that were challenged with glutamate and hypoxic/aglycemic (H/A) conditions. We observed that 10nM biphalin, exerted a statistically significant neuroprotective effect after glutamate challenge, compared to all selective opioid agonists, according to lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Moreover, 10nM biphalin provided superior neuroprotection after H/A-reoxygenation compared to selective opioid agonists in all cases. Our in vitro investigations were supported by in vivo studies which indicate that the nonselective opioid agonist, biphalin, achieves enhanced neuroprotective potency compared to any of the selective opioid agonists, evidenced by reduced edema and infarct ratios. Reduction of edema and infarction was accompanied by neurological improvement of the animals in two independent behavioral tests. Collectively these data strongly suggest that concurrent agonist stimulation of mu, kappa and delta ORs with biphalin is neuroprotective and superior to neuroprotection by activation of any single OR subtype.

  19. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of a potent opioid receptor agonist, biphalin, compared to subtype-selective opioid receptor agonists for stroke treatment

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Li; Islam, Mohammad R; Karamyan, Vardan T.; Abbruscato, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    To meet the challenge of identification of new treatments for stroke, this study was designed to evaluate a potent, nonselective opioid receptor (OR) agonist, biphalin, in comparison to subtype selective OR agonists, as a potential neuroprotective drug candidate using in vitro and in vivo models of ischemic stroke. Our in vitro approach included mouse primary neuronal cells that were challenged with glutamate and hypoxic/aglycemic (H/A) conditions. We observed that 10 nM biphalin, exerted a statistically significant neuroprotective effect after glutamate challenge, compared to all selective opioid agonists, according to lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Moreover, 10 nM biphalin provided superior neuroprotection after H/A-reoxygenation compared to selective opioid agonists in all cases. Our in vitro investigations were supported by in vivo studies which indicate that the nonselective opioid agonist, biphalin, achieves enhanced neuroprotective potency compared to any of the selective opioid agonists, evidenced by reduced edema and infarct ratios. Reduction of edema and infarction was accompanied by neurological improvement of the animals in two independent behavioral tests. Collectively these data strongly suggest that concurrent agonist stimulation of mu, kappa and delta ORs with biphalin is neuroprotective and superior to neuroprotection by activation of any single OR subtype. PMID:25801116

  20. Antagonism of κ opioid receptor in the nucleus accumbens prevents the depressive-like behaviors following prolonged morphine abstinence.

    PubMed

    Zan, Gui-Ying; Wang, Qian; Wang, Yu-Jun; Liu, Yao; Hang, Ai; Shu, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Jing-Gen

    2015-09-15

    The association between morphine withdrawal and depressive-like symptoms is well documented, however, the role of dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system and the underlying neural substrates have not been fully understood. In the present study, we found that four weeks morphine abstinence after a chronic escalating morphine regimen significantly induced depressive-like behaviors in mice. Prodynorphin mRNA and protein levels were increased in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) after four weeks of morphine withdrawal. Local injection of κ opioid receptor antagonist nor-Binaltorphimine (norBNI) in the NAc significantly blocked the expression of depressive-like behaviors without influencing general locomotor activity. Thus, the present study extends previous findings by showing that prolonged morphine withdrawal-induced depressive-like behaviors are regulated by dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system, and shed light on the κ opioid receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of depressive-like behaviors induced by opiate withdrawal.

  1. Periaqueductal gray μ and κ opioid receptors determine behavioral selection from maternal to predatory behavior in lactating rats.

    PubMed

    Klein, Marianne Orlandini; Cruz, Aline de Mello; Machado, Franciele Corrêa; Picolo, Gisele; Canteras, Newton Sabino; Felicio, Luciano Freitas

    2014-11-01

    Every mother must optimize her time between caring for her young and her subsistence. The rostro lateral portion of the periaqueductal grey (rlPAG) is a critical site that modulates the switch between maternal and predatory behavior. Opioids play multiple roles in both maternal behavior and this switching process. The present study used a pharmacological approach to evaluate the functional role of rlPAG μ and κ opioid receptors in behavioral selection. Rat dams were implanted with a guide cannula in the rlPAG and divided into three experiments in which we tested the role of opioid agonists (Experiment 1), the influence of μ and κ opioid receptor blockade in the presence of morphine (Experiment 2), and the influence of μ and κ opioid receptor blockade (Experiment 3). After behavioral test, in Experiment 4, we evaluated rlPAG μ and κ receptor activation in all Experiments 1-3. The results showed that massive opioidergic activation induced by morphine in the rlPAG inhibited maternal behavior without interfering with predatory hunting. No behavioral changes and no receptor activation were promoted by the specific agonist alone. However, κ receptor blockade increased hunting behavior and increased the level of μ receptor activation in the rlPAG. Thus, endogenous opioidergic tone might be modulated by a functional interaction between opioid receptor subtypes. Such a compensatory receptor interaction appears to be relevant for behavioral selection among motivated behaviors. These findings indicate a role for multiple opioid receptor interactions in the modulation of behavioral selection between maternal and predatory behaviors in the PAG.

  2. Chronic exposure to morphine decreases the expression of EAAT3 via opioid receptors in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mingyan; Cao, Dexiong; Zhu, Siyu; Fu, Ganglan; Wu, Qiang; Liang, Jianjun; Cao, Minghui

    2015-12-02

    Alterations in glutamate transporter expression are closely related to opiate addition behavior, but the role of opioid receptors is unclear. In this study, we used primary cultures of hippocampal neurons from neonatal rats to study the effects of chronic exposure to morphine on excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3) expression and the roles of µ opioid receptor (MOR), δ opioid receptor (DOR), and κ opioid receptor (KOR) in the morphine-dependent alterations in EAAT3 expression. The results showed that the EAAT3 protein and mRNA expression levels decreased significantly after chronic exposure to morphine (10μmol/L) for 48h, whereas the concentration of extracellular glutamate increased. In addition, we found that both the MOR inhibitor CTOP and the DOR inhibitor naltrindole could reverse the decreased expression of EAAT3 after exposure to morphine, whereas the MOR activator DAMGO and the DOR activator DPDPE significantly decreased EAAT3 expression. The KOR inhibitor had no effect on the expression of EAAT3, whereas its activator increased EAAT3 expression. These results suggest that the down-regulation of morphine-dependent EAAT3 expression in primary rat hippocampal cultures may be mediated by MOR and DOR and that KOR may not contribute significantly to this effect.

  3. Micro-opioid receptor activation in the basolateral amygdala mediates the learning of increases but not decreases in the incentive value of a food reward.

    PubMed

    Wassum, Kate M; Cely, Ingrid C; Balleine, Bernard W; Maidment, Nigel T

    2011-02-02

    The decision to perform, or not perform, actions known to lead to a rewarding outcome is strongly influenced by the current incentive value of the reward. Incentive value is largely determined by the affective experience derived during previous consumption of the reward-the process of incentive learning. We trained rats on a two-lever, seeking-taking chain paradigm for sucrose reward, in which responding on the initial seeking lever of the chain was demonstrably controlled by the incentive value of the reward. We found that infusion of the μ-opioid receptor antagonist, CTOP (d-Phe-Cys-Tyr-d-Trp-Orn-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2)), into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) during posttraining, noncontingent consumption of sucrose in a novel elevated-hunger state (a positive incentive learning opportunity) blocked the encoding of incentive value information normally used to increase subsequent sucrose-seeking responses. Similar treatment with δ [N, N-diallyl-Tyr-Aib-Aib-Phe-Leu-OH (ICI 174,864)] or κ [5'-guanidinonaltrindole (GNTI)] antagonists was without effect. Interestingly, none of these drugs affected the ability of the rats to encode a decrease in incentive value resulting from experiencing the sucrose in a novel reduced-hunger state. However, the μ agonist, DAMGO ([d-Ala2, NMe-Phe4, Gly5-ol]-enkephalin), appeared to attenuate this negative incentive learning. These data suggest that upshifts and downshifts in endogenous opioid transmission in the BLA mediate the encoding of positive and negative shifts in incentive value, respectively, through actions at μ-opioid receptors, and provide insight into a mechanism through which opiates may elicit inappropriate desire resulting in their continued intake in the face of diminishing affective experience.

  4. Analgesia produced by exposure to 2450-MHz radiofrequency radiation (RFR) is mediated by brain mu- and kappa-opioid receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Salomon, G.; Park, E.J.; Quock, R.M. )

    1992-02-26

    This study was conducted to identify the opioid receptor subtype(s) responsible for RFR-induced analgesia. Male Swiss Webster mice, 20-25 g, were exposed to 20 mW/cm{sup 2} RFR in a 2,450-MHz waveguide system for 10 min, then tested 15 min later in the abdominal constriction paradigm which detects {mu}- and {kappa}-opioid activity. Immediately following RFR exposure, different groups of mice were pretreated intracerebroventricularly with different opioid receptor blockers with selectivity for {mu}- or {kappa}-opioid receptors. Results show that RFR-induced analgesia was attenuated by higher but not lower doses of the non-selective antagonist naloxone, but the selective {mu}-opioid antagonist {beta}-funaltrexamine and by the selective {kappa}-opioid antagonist norbinaltorphimine. RFR-induced analgesia was also reduced by subcutaneous pretreatment with 5.0 mg/kg of the {mu}-/{kappa}-opioid antagonist({minus})-5,9-diethyl-{alpha}-5,9-dialkyl-2{prime}-hydroxy-6,7-benzomorphan(MR-2266). These findings suggest that RFR-induced analgesia may be mediated by both {mu}- and {kappa}-opioid mechanisms.

  5. Morphine Protects against Methylmercury Intoxication: A Role for Opioid Receptors in Oxidative Stress?

    PubMed Central

    Costa-Malaquias, Allan; Almeida, Mauro B.; Souza Monteiro, José R.; Macchi, Barbarella de Matos; do Nascimento, José Luiz M.; Crespo-Lopez, María Elena

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is an extremely dangerous environmental contaminant responsible for episodes of human intoxication throughout the world. Methylmercury, the most toxic compound of this metal, mainly targets the central nervous system, accumulating preferentially in cells of glial origin and causing oxidative stress. Despite studies demonstrating the current exposure of human populations, the consequences of mercury intoxication and concomitant use of drugs targeting the central nervous system (especially drugs used in long-term treatments, such as analgesics) are completely unknown. Morphine is a major option for pain management; its global consumption more than quadrupled in the last decade. Controversially, morphine has been proposed to function in oxidative stress independent of the activation of the opioid receptors. In this work, a therapeutic concentration of morphine partially protected the cellular viability of cells from a C6 glioma cell line exposed to methylmercury. Morphine treatment also reduced lipid peroxidation and totally prevented increases in nitrite levels in those cells. A mechanistic study revealed no alteration in sulfhydryl groups or direct scavenging at this opioid concentration. Interestingly, the opioid antagonist naloxone completely eliminated the protective effect of morphine against methylmercury intoxication, pointing to opioid receptors as the major contributor to this action. Taken together, the experiments in the current study provide the first demonstration that a therapeutic concentration of morphine is able to reduce methylmercury-induced oxidative damage and cell death by activating the opioid receptors. Thus, these receptors may be a promising pharmacological target for modulating the deleterious effects of mercury intoxication. Although additional studies are necessary, our results support the clinical safety of using this opioid in methylmercury-intoxicated patients, suggesting that normal analgesic doses could confer an additional

  6. Involvement of Mu Opioid Receptor Signaling in the Protective Effect of Opioid against 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced SH-SY5Y Human Neuroblastoma Cells Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Eftekhar-Vaghefi, Shahrzad; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Elyasi, Leila; Abbasnejad, Mehdi

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The neuroprotective role of opioid morphine against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced cell death has been demonstrated. However, the exact mechanism(s) underlying such neuroprotection, especially the role of subtype receptors, has not yet been fully clarified. Methods: Here, we investigated the effects of different opioid agonists on 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line as an in vitro model of Parkinson’s disease. Cell damage was induced by 150 μM 6-OHDA and the cells viability was examined by MTT assay. Intracellular calcium, reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial membrane potential were assessed by fluorescence spectrophotometry method. Immunoblot technique was used to evaluate cytochrome-c and activated caspase-3 as biochemical markers of apoptosis induction. Results: The data showed that 6-OHDA caused significant cell damage, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species and calcium levels as well as activated caspase-3 and cytochrome-c release. Incubation of SH-SY5Y cells with μ-opioid agonists, morphine and DAMGO, but not with δ-opioid agonist, DADLE, elicited protective effect and reduced biochemical markers of cell damage and death. Discussion: The results suggest that μ-opioid receptors signaling participate in the opioid neuroprotective effects against 6-OHDA-induced neurotoxicity. PMID:26904174

  7. Recent advances on the δ opioid receptor: from trafficking to function

    PubMed Central

    Gendron, Louis; Mittal, Nitish; Beaudry, Hélène; Walwyn, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    Within the opioid family of receptors, δ (DOPrs) and μ opioid receptors (MOPrs) are typical GPCRs that activate canonical second-messenger signalling cascades to influence diverse cellular functions in neuronal and non-neuronal cell types. These receptors activate well-known pathways to influence ion channel function and pathways such as the map kinase cascade, AC and PI3K. In addition new information regarding opioid receptor-interacting proteins, downstream signalling pathways and resultant functional effects has recently come to light. In this review, we will examine these novel findings focusing on the DOPr and, in doing so, will contrast and compare DOPrs with MOPrs in terms of differences and similarities in function, signalling pathways, distribution and interactions. We will also discuss and clarify issues that have recently surfaced regarding the expression and function of DOPrs in different cell types and analgesia. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24665909

  8. Synthesis and SAR study of opioid receptor ligands: mono- and bis-indolomorphinans.

    PubMed

    Li, Fuying; Yin, Chenlei; Chen, Jie; Liu, Jinggen; Xie, Xin; Zhang, Ao

    2009-10-01

    Mono- and bis-indolomorphinans were synthesized through a multi-step synthetic approach from the alkaloid, thebaine, to further explore the C-ring SAR (structure-activity relationship) of morphinan scaffold. Both mono-indoles displayed good binding affinity and selectivity for the delta receptor, with compound 6b possessed the highest K(i) value of 1.45 nm at this receptor. Bisindolomorphinans 7a,b did not have appreciable affinity for both delta and kappa receptors, but moderate binding at the mu receptor was observed. Functional assays indicated that the newly synthesized mono-indole 6b was delta-agonist, opposite to the delta-antagonist profile of naltrindole. Bisindoles 7a,b were mu-agonists. This work further confirms that the phenol component in opioids is essential for higher binding to the opioid receptors. The different binding ability, receptor selectivity, and the functional activity profiles of naltrindole 2, monoindole 6b, and bisindole 7b clearly indicated that they interact with the opioid receptors in different modes.

  9. Mu Opioids and Their Receptors: Evolution of a Concept

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Ying-Xian

    2013-01-01

    Opiates are among the oldest medications available to manage a number of medical problems. Although pain is the current focus, early use initially focused upon the treatment of dysentery. Opium contains high concentrations of both morphine and codeine, along with thebaine, which is used in the synthesis of a number of semisynthetic opioid analgesics. Thus, it is not surprising that new agents were initially based upon the morphine scaffold. The concept of multiple opioid receptors was first suggested almost 50 years ago (Martin, 1967), opening the possibility of new classes of drugs, but the morphine-like agents have remained the mainstay in the medical management of pain. Termed mu, our understanding of these morphine-like agents and their receptors has undergone an evolution in thinking over the past 35 years. Early pharmacological studies identified three major classes of receptors, helped by the discovery of endogenous opioid peptides and receptor subtypes—primarily through the synthesis of novel agents. These chemical biologic approaches were then eclipsed by the molecular biology revolution, which now reveals a complexity of the morphine-like agents and their receptors that had not been previously appreciated. PMID:24076545

  10. Bi-Directional Heterologous Desensitization Between the Major HIV-1 Co-Receptor CXCR4 and the κ-Opioid Receptor1

    PubMed Central

    Finley, Matthew J.; Chen, Xiaohong; Bardi, Guiseppe; Davey, Penny; Geller, Ellen B.; Zhang, Lily; Adler, Martin W.; Rogers, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    We previously characterized multiple interactions between chemokine and opioid G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), and we found both µ and δ-opioid receptors cross-desensitize CCR1, CCR2, CCR5, but not CXCR4. Here we report that the κ-opioid receptor (KOR) is able to cross-desensitize CXCR4, and this phenomenon is bi-directional. Chemotactic responses by KOR activation are diminished with prior activation of CXCR4. Additionally, calcium mobilization assays show these cross-desensitization processes occur within seconds of receptor activation, and target receptor internalization is not responsible for desensitization between these receptors. These results have implications for several essential processes including neuronal and lymphocyte development, inflammatory responses, and pain/sensitivity. PMID:18533278

  11. δ-Opioid receptors in the accumbens shell mediate the influence of both excitatory and inhibitory predictions on choice

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, Vincent; Wong, Felix L; Balleine, Bernard W

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Stimuli that predict rewarding events can control choice between future actions, and this control could be mediated by δ-opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-S). Stimuli predicting the absence of important events can also guide choice, although it remains unknown whether they do so via changes in an accumbal δ-opioid receptor-related process. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH δ-opioid receptor-eGFP mice were trained to perform two instrumental actions that delivered different food outcomes. Choice between the two actions was then tested in the presence of stimuli paired with either the delivery or the non-delivery of each of the two outcomes. Bilateral infusions of the δ-opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole into the NAc-S were used to determine the role of these receptors at the time of choice and δ-opioid receptor expression in the NAc-S used to assess functional activity. KEY RESULTS A stimulus predicting a specific outcome biased choice performance towards the action previously earning that same outcome. In contrast, a stimulus signalling the absence of that outcome biased performance away from the action that delivered that outcome towards actions associated with the absence of that outcome. Both effects were associated with increased δ-opioid receptor expression on the membrane of cholinergic interneurons within the NAc-S. Furthermore, both effects were blocked by naltrindole infused into the NAc-S. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These findings suggest that δ-opioid receptors in the NAc-S were involved in the effects of predictive learning on choice between actions, whether those predictions involve the presence or absence of specific rewarding events. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24758591

  12. GABA, but not opioids, mediates the anti-hyperalgesic effects of 5-HT7 receptor activation in rats suffering from neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Viguier, Florent; Michot, Benoît; Kayser, Valérie; Bernard, Jean-François; Vela, José-Miguel; Hamon, Michel; Bourgoin, Sylvie

    2012-11-01

    Among receptors mediating serotonin actions in pain control, the 5-HT(7)R is of special interest because it is expressed by primary afferent fibers and intrinsic GABAergic and opioidergic interneurons within the spinal dorsal horn. Herein, we investigated whether GABA and/or opioids contribute to 5-HT(7)R-mediated control of neuropathic pain caused by nerve ligation. Acute administration of 5-HT(7)R agonists (AS-19, MSD-5a, E-55888) was found to markedly reduce mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in rats with unilateral constriction injury to the sciatic nerve (CCI-SN). In contrast, mechanical hypersensitivity caused by unilateral constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve was essentially unaffected by these ligands. Further characterization of the anti-hyperalgesic effect of 5-HT(7)R activation by the selective agonist E-55888 showed that it was associated with a decrease in IL-1ß mRNA overexpression in ipsilateral L4-L6 dorsal root ganglia and lumbar dorsal horn in CCI-SN rats. In addition, E-55888 diminished CCI-SN-associated increase in c-Fos immunolabeling in superficial laminae of the lumbar dorsal horn and the locus coeruleus, but increased c-Fos immunolabeling in the nucleus tractus solitarius and the parabrachial area in both control and CCI-SN rats. When injected intrathecally (i.t.), bicuculline (3 μg i.t.), but neither phaclofen (5 μg i.t.) nor naloxone (10 μg i.t.), significantly reduced the anti-hyperalgesic effects of 5-HT(7)R activation (E-55888, 10 mg/kg s.c.) in CCI-SN rats. These data support the idea that 5-HT(7)R-mediated inhibitory control of neuropathic pain is underlain by excitation of GABAergic interneurons within the dorsal horn. In addition, 5-HT(7)R activation-induced c-Fos increase in the nucleus tractus solitarius and the parabrachial area suggests that supraspinal mechanisms might also be involved.

  13. Peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists as treatment options for constipation in noncancer pain patients on chronic opioid therapy

    PubMed Central

    Pergolizzi, Joseph V; Raffa, Robert B; Pappagallo, Marco; Fleischer, Charles; Pergolizzi, Joseph; Zampogna, Gianpietro; Duval, Elizabeth; Hishmeh, Janan; LeQuang, Jo Ann; Taylor, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Opioid-induced constipation (OIC), a prevalent and distressing side effect of opioid therapy, does not reliably respond to treatment with conventional laxatives. OIC can be a treatment-limiting adverse event. Recent advances in medications with peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists, such as methylnaltrexone, naloxegol, and alvimopan, hold promise for treating OIC and thus extending the benefits of opioid analgesia to more chronic pain patients. Peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists have been clinically tested to improve bowel symptoms without compromise to pain relief, although there are associated side effects, including abdominal pain. Other treatment options include fixed-dose combination products of oxycodone analgesic together with naloxone. PMID:28176913

  14. EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF SPECIFIC OPIOID RECEPTOR AGONISTS IN A RODENT MODEL OF SPINAL CORD INJURY

    PubMed Central

    Aceves, Miriam; Mathai, Babetta B.; Hook, Michelle A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective The current study aimed to evaluate the contribution(s) of specific opioid receptor systems to the analgesic and detrimental effects of morphine, observed after spinal cord injury in prior studies. Study Design We used specific opioid receptor agonists to assess the effects of µ- (DAMGO), δ- (DPDPE), and κ- (GR89696) opioid receptor activation on locomotor (BBB, tapered beam, ladder tests) and sensory (girdle, tactile, and tail-flick tests) recovery in a rodent contusion model (T12). We also tested the contribution of non-classic opioid binding using [+]- morphine. Methods First, a dose-response curve for analgesic efficacy was generated for each opioid agonist. Baseline locomotor and sensory reactivity was assessed 24 h after injury. Subjects were then treated with an intrathecal dose of a specific agonist and re-tested after 30 min. To evaluate effects on recovery, subjects were treated with a single dose of an agonist and both locomotor and sensory function were monitored for 21 d. Results All agonists for the classic opioid receptors, but not the [+]- morphine enantiomer, produced antinociception at a concentration equivalent to a dose of morphine previously shown to produce strong analgesic effects (0.32 μmol). DAMGO and [+]- morphine did not affect long-term recovery. GR89696, however, significantly undermined recovery of locomotor function at all doses tested. Conclusions Based on these data, we hypothesize that the analgesic efficacy of morphine is primarily mediated by binding to the classic μ-opioid receptor. Conversely, the adverse effects of morphine may be linked to activation of the κ-opioid receptor. Ultimately, elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of morphine is imperative in order to develop safe and effective pharmacological interventions in a clinical setting. Setting USA PMID:26927293

  15. Effects of continuous opioid receptor blockade on alcohol intake and up-regulation of opioid receptor subtype signalling in a genetic model of high alcohol drinking.

    PubMed

    Hyytiä, P; Ingman, K; Soini, S L; Laitinen, J T; Korpi, E R

    1999-10-01

    Effects of a continuous naloxone infusion via osmotic pumps on alcohol drinking and opioid receptor density and function in the high-drinking AA (Alko, Alcohol) rats were examined. AA rats were trained to drink 10% (v/v) ethanol in a 1-h limited access procedure and implanted with subcutaneous osmotic pumps delivering either saline, a low dose (0.3 mg/kg per hour), or a high dose (3.0 mg/kg per hour) of naloxone for 7 days. The pumps were then removed and alcohol, food and water intakes were measured for another 4 days. Compared with saline, both naloxone doses significantly suppressed 1-h alcohol intake during the 7-day infusion. The suppression was smaller than that by a bolus injection of the same daily dose 15 min before the session, although a complete blockade of morphine-induced antinociception was achieved even with the smaller naloxone infusion. Significant decreases were also seen in daily food and water intake during the first days, but they quickly returned to their previous baselines. After pump removal, rats of both naloxone-treated groups rapidly increased their alcohol drinking and reached the pretreatment baseline, while their food and water intakes significantly surpassed their baselines. Naloxone infusion at 3.0 mg/kg per hour for 7 days significantly decreased 24-h alcohol drinking without affecting alcohol preference. Twenty-four hours after pump removal, autoradiography with [3H]DAMGO, [3H]DPDPE and [3H]U-69,543 revealed an up-regulation of mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptor binding sites in many brain areas of these animals. This receptor up-regulation was functional, because receptor coupling to G-protein activation was enhanced by agonist ligands, as revealed by [35S]GTPgammaS autoradiography. A good correlation existed between ligand binding densities and G-protein activation for mu- and kappa-receptors in control and naloxone-treated brain sections. Furthermore, morphine-induced analgesia in a hot-plate test showed a leftward shift in

  16. Identification of rat brain opioid (enkephalin) receptor by photoaffinity labeling

    SciTech Connect

    Yeung, C.W.

    1986-01-01

    A photoreactive, radioactive enkephalin derivative was prepared and purified by high performance liquid chromatography. Rat brain and spinal cord plasma membranes were incubated with this radioiodinated photoprobe and were subsequently photolysed. Autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis of the solubilized and reduced membranes showed that a protein having an apparent molecular weight of 46,000 daltons was specifically labeled, suggesting that this protein may be the opioid (enkephalin) receptor.

  17. Remifentanil produces cross-desensitization and tolerance with morphine on the mu-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Nowoczyn, M; Marie, N; Coulbault, L; Hervault, M; Davis, A; Hanouz, J L; Allouche, S

    2013-10-01

    Remifentanil is a powerful mu-opioid (MOP) receptor agonist used in anaesthesia with a very short half-life. However, per-operative perfusion of remifentanil was shown to increase morphine consumption during post-operative period to relieve pain. In the present study, we aimed to describe the cellular mechanisms responsible for this apparent reduction of morphine efficacy. For this purpose, we first examined the pharmacological properties of both remifentanil and morphine at the MOP receptor, endogenously expressed in the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line, to regulate adenylyl cyclase and the MAP kinase ERK1/2 pathway, their potency to promote MOP receptor phosphorylation, arrestin 3-CFP (cyan fluorescent protein) recruitment and receptor trafficking during acute and sustained exposure. In the second part of this work, we studied the effects of a prior exposure of remifentanil on morphine-induced inhibition of cAMP accumulation, activation of ERK1/2 and analgesia. We showed that sustained exposure to remifentanil promoted a rapid desensitization of opioid receptors on both signalling pathways and a pretreatment with this agonist reduced signal transduction produced by a second challenge with morphine. While both opioid agonists promoted Ser(375) phosphorylation on MOP receptor, remifentanil induced a rapid internalization of opioid receptors compared to morphine but without detectable arrestin 3-CFP translocation to the plasma membrane in our experimental conditions. Lastly, a cross-tolerance between remifentanil and morphine was observed in mice using the hot plate test. Our in vitro and in vivo data thus demonstrated that remifentanil produced a rapid desensitization and internalization of the MOP receptor that would reduce the anti-nociceptive effects of morphine.

  18. New 2',6'-dimethyl-L-tyrosine (Dmt) opioid peptidomimetics based on the Aba-Gly scaffold. Development of unique mu-opioid receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Ballet, Steven; Salvadori, Severo; Trapella, Claudio; Bryant, Sharon D; Jinsmaa, Yunden; Lazarus, Lawrence H; Negri, Lucia; Giannini, Elisa; Lattanzi, Roberta; Tourwé, Dirk; Balboni, Gianfranco

    2006-06-29

    The Aba-Gly scaffold, incorporated into Dmt-Tic ligands (H-Dmt-Tic-Gly-NH-CH2-Ph, H-Dmt-Tic-Gly-NH-Ph, H-Dmt-Tic-NH-CH2-Bid), exhibited mixed micro/delta or delta opioid receptor activities with micro agonism. Substitution of Tic by Aba-Gly coupled to -NH-CH2-Ph (1), -NH-Ph (2), or -Bid (Bid=1H-benzimidazole-2-yl) (3) shifted affinity (Ki(micro)=0.46, 1.48, and 19.9 nM, respectively), selectivity, and bioactivity to micro-opioid receptors. These compounds represent templates for a new class of lead opioid agonists that are easily synthesized and suitable for therapeutic pain relief.

  19. Insulin resistance influences central opioid activity in polycystic ovary syndrome.

    PubMed

    Berent-Spillson, Alison; Love, Tiffany; Pop-Busui, Rodica; Sowers, MaryFran; Persad, Carol C; Pennington, Kathryn P; Eyvazaddeh, Aimee D; Padmanabhan, Vasantha; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Smith, Yolanda R

    2011-06-30

    This pilot study describes a relationship between insulin resistance and μ-opioid neurotransmission in limbic appetite and mood-regulating regions in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), suggesting that insulin-opioid interactions may contribute to behavioral and reproductive pathologies of PCOS. We found that [1] patients with PCOS who are insulin-resistant (n = 7) had greater limbic μ-opioid receptor availability (nondisplaceable binding potential) than controls (n = 5); [2] receptor availability was correlated with severity of insulin resistance; and [3] receptor availability normalized after insulin-regulating treatment.

  20. Sigma and opioid receptors in human brain tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, G.E.; Szuecs, M.; Mamone, J.Y.; Bem, W.T.; Rush, M.D.; Johnson, F.E.; Coscia, C.J. )

    1990-01-01

    Human brain tumors and nude mouse-borne human neuroblastomas and gliomas were analyzed for sigma and opioid receptor content. Sigma binding was assessed using ({sup 3}H) 1, 3-di-o-tolylguanidine (DTG), whereas opioid receptor subtypes were measured with tritiated forms of the following: {mu}, (D-ala{sup 2}, mePhe{sup 4}, gly-ol{sup 5}) enkephalin (DAMGE); {kappa}, ethylketocyclazocine (EKC) or U69,593; {delta}, (D-pen{sup 2}, D-pen{sup 5}) enkephalin (DPDPE) or (D-ala{sup 2}, D-leu{sup 5}) enkephalin (DADLE) with {mu} suppressor present. Binding parameters were estimated by homologous displacement assays followed by analysis using the LIGAND program. Sigma binding was detected in 15 of 16 tumors examined with very high levels found in a brain metastasis from an adenocarcinoma of lung and a human neuroblastoma (SK-N-MC) passaged in nude mice. {kappa} opioid receptor binding was detected in 4 of 4 glioblastoma multiforme specimens and 2 of 2 human astrocytoma cell lines tested but not in the other brain tumors analyzed.

  1. Synthesis of quinolinomorphinan-4-ol derivatives as δ opioid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Ida, Yoshihiro; Nemoto, Toru; Hirayama, Shigeto; Fujii, Hideaki; Osa, Yumiko; Imai, Masayuki; Nakamura, Takashi; Kanemasa, Toshiyuki; Kato, Akira; Nagase, Hiroshi

    2012-01-15

    The previously reported morphinan derivative SN-28 showed high selectivity and agonist activity for the δ opioid receptor. In the course of examining the structure-activity relationship of SN-28 derivatives, the derivatives with the 4-hydroxy group (SN-24, 26, 27) showed higher selectivities for the δ receptor over the μ receptor than the corresponding SN-28 derivatives with the 3-hydroxy group (SN-11, 23, 28). Derivatives with the 4-hydroxy group showed potent agonist activities for the δ receptor in the [(35)S]GTPγS binding assay. Although the 17-cyclopropylmethyl derivative (SN-11) with a 3-hydroxy group showed the lowest selectivity for the δ receptor among the morphinan derivatives, the agonist activity toward the δ receptor was the most potent for candidates with the 3-hydroxy group.

  2. Antidepressant-like Effects of δ Opioid Receptor Agonists in Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Saitoh, Akiyoshi; Yamada, Mitsuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Recently, δ opioid receptor agonists have been proposed to be attractive targets for the development of novel antidepressants. Several studies revealed that single treatment of δ opioid receptor agonists produce antidepressant-like effects in the forced swimming test, which is one of the most popular animal models for screening antidepressants. In addition, subchronic treatment with δ opioid receptor agonists has been shown to completely attenuate the hyperemotional responses found in olfactory bulbectomized rats. This animal model exhibits hyperemotional behavior that may mimic the anxiety, aggression, and irritability found in depressed patients, suggesting that δ opioid receptor agonists could be effective in the treatment of these symptoms in depression. On the other hand, prototype δ opioid receptor agonists produce convulsive effects, which limit their therapeutic potential and clinical development. In this review, we presented the current knowledge regarding the antidepressant-like effects of δ opioid receptor agonists, which include some recently developed drugs lacking convulsive effects. PMID:23449756

  3. Heteromers of μ-δ opioid receptors: new pharmacology and novel therapeutic possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Wakako; Gomes, Ivone; Devi, Lakshmi A

    2015-01-01

    Several studies suggest that heteromerization between μ (MOP) and δ (DOP) opioid receptors modulates the signalling properties of the individual receptors. For example, whereas activation of MOP receptors by an agonist induces G protein-mediated signalling, the same agonist induces β-arrestin-mediated signalling in the context of the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer. Moreover, heteromer-mediated signalling is allosterically modulated by a combination of MOP and DOP receptor ligands. This has implications in analgesia given that morphine-induced antinociception can be potentiated by DOP receptor ligands. Recently reagents selectively targeting the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer such as bivalent ligands, antibodies or membrane permeable peptides have been generated; these reagents are enabling studies to elucidate the contribution of endogenously expressed heteromers to analgesia as well as to the development of side-effects associated with chronic opioid use. Recent advances in drug screening technology have led to the identification of a MOP-DOP receptor heteromer-biased agonist that activates both G protein-mediated and β-arrestin-mediated signalling. Moreover, this heteromer-biased agonist exhibits potent antinociceptive activity but with reduced side-effects, suggesting that ligands targeting the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer form a basis for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of pain. In this review, we summarize findings regarding the biological and functional characteristics of the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer and the in vitro and in vivo properties of heteromer-selective ligands. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24571499

  4. Significance of Neuronal Cytochrome P450 Activity in Opioid-Mediated Stress-Induced Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Hough, Lindsay B.; Nalwalk, Julia W.; Yang, Weizhu; Ding, Xinxin

    2014-01-01

    Stressful environmental changes can suppress nociceptive transmission, a phenomenon known as “stress-induced analgesia”. Depending on the stressor and the subject, opioid or non-opioid mechanisms are activated. Brain μ opioid receptors mediate analgesia evoked either by exogenous agents (e.g. morphine), or by the release of endogenous opioids following stressful procedures. Recent work with morphine and neuronal cytochrome P450 (P450)-deficient mice proposed a signal transduction role for P450 enzymes in μ analgesia. Since μ opioid receptors also mediate some forms of stress-induced analgesia, the present studies assessed the significance of brain P450 activity in opioid-mediated stress-induced analgesia. Two widely-used models of opioid stress-induced analgesia (restraint and warm water swim) were studied in both sexes of wild-type control and P450-deficient (Null) mice. In control mice, both stressors evoked moderate analgesic responses which were blocked by pretreatment with the opioid antagonist naltrexone, confirming the opioid nature of these responses. Consistent with literature, sex differences (control female > control male) were seen in swim-induced, but not restraint-induced, analgesia. Null mice showed differential responses to the two stress paradigms. As compared with control subjects, Null mice showed highly attenuated restraint-induced analgesia, showing a critical role for neuronal P450s in this response. However, warm water swim-induced analgesia was unchanged in Null vs. control mice. Additional control experiments confirmed the absence of morphine analgesia in Null mice. These results are the first to show that some forms of opioid-mediated stress-induced analgesia require brain neuronal P450 activity. PMID:25020125

  5. Kappa-opioid receptor-mediated effects of the plant-derived hallucinogen, salvinorin A, on inverted screen performance in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Fantegrossi, William E; Kugle, Kelly M; Valdes, Leander J; Koreeda, Masato; Woods, James H

    2005-12-01

    Salvinorin A is a pharmacologically active diterpene that occurs naturally in the Mexican mint Ska Maria Pastora (Salvia divinorum) and represents the first naturally occurring kappa-opioid receptor agonist. The chemical structure of salvinorin A is novel among the opioids, and thus defines a new structural class of kappa-opioid-receptor selective drugs. Few studies have examined the effects of salvinorin A in vivo, and fewer still have attempted to assess the agonist actions of this compound at mu-opioid, delta-opioid, and kappa-opioid receptors using selective antagonists. In the mouse, salvinorin A disrupted climbing behavior on an inverted screen task, indicating a rapid, but short-lived induction of sedation/motor incoordination. Similar effects were observed with the mu-agonist remifentanil and the synthetic kappa-agonist U69,593. When behaviorally equivalent doses of all three opioids were challenged with antagonists at doses selective for mu-opioid, delta-opioid, or kappa-opioid receptors, results suggested that the motoric effects of remifentanil were mediated by mu-receptors, whereas those of salvinorin A and U69,593 were mediated via kappa-receptors. Despite similar potencies and degrees of effectiveness, salvinorin A and U69,593 differed with regard to their susceptibility to antagonism by the kappa-antagonist nor-binaltorphamine. This later finding, coupled with the novel chemical structure of the compound, is consistent with recent findings that the diterpene salvinorin A may bind to the kappa-receptor in a manner that is qualitatively different from that of more traditional kappa-agonists such as the benzeneacetamide U69,593. Such pharmacological differences among these kappa-opioids raise the possibility that the development of other diterpene-based opioids may yield important therapeutic compounds.

  6. Synthesis of iboga-like isoquinuclidines: Dual opioid receptors agonists having antinociceptive properties.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Tuhin Suvro; Paul, Sibasish; Sinha, Surajit; Das, Sumantra

    2014-11-01

    Some novel iboga-analogues consisting of benzofuran moiety and dehydroisoquinuclidine ring connected by -CH2-, (CH2)2 and (CH2)3 linkers have been synthesized with the view to develop potential antinociceptive drugs. The compounds 14 and 21 showed binding at the μ-opioid receptor (MOR), while the compound 11a exhibited dual affinities at both MOR and κ-opioid receptor (KOR). MAP kinase activation indicated all three compounds have opioid agonistic properties. The presence of a double bond and endo-methylcarboxylate group in the dehydroisoquinuclidine ring and the benzofuran and methylene spacer appeared to be essential for opioid receptor binding. Further studies demonstrated 11a caused significant antinociception in mice in the hot-plate test which was comparable to that produced by morphine. The compound 11a was also found to be nontremorigenic unlike various iboga congeners. This study identifies a new pharmacophore which may lead to the development of suitable substitute of morphine in the treatment of pain.

  7. Differential migratory properties of mouse, fish, and frog leukocytes treated with agonists of opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Chadzinska, Magdalena; Plytycz, Barbara

    2004-07-01

    Zymosan-induced peritoneal inflammation was inhibited by morphine co-injection in mice and fish but not in anuran amphibians. In present experiments, an in vitro migration of mouse, goldfish, and frog leukocytes to L15 medium, control serum (S) or zymosan-activated serum (ZAS) was recorded following cell preincubation with L15 or with agonists of mu, delta, or kappa opioid receptors (morphine, deltorphine, or U-50,488H, respectively). In all species, migration of control leukocytes was in the order ZAS > S > L15. Pretreatment with morphine or deltorphine (but not with U-50,488H) enhanced leukocyte migration to L15 and S in each species, while it inhibited migration of mouse and fish (but not frog) leukocytes to ZAS, phenomena reversed by specific antagonists of mu and delta opioid receptors (CTOP or naltrindole, respectively). It seems that final effects of opioids on cell migration are dependent on a species-specific balance between up- and down-regulation of leukocyte migration resulted from interplay between receptors for opioids and chemotactic factors.

  8. Salvinorin A: allosteric interactions at the mu-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Rothman, Richard B; Murphy, Daniel L; Xu, Heng; Godin, Jonathan A; Dersch, Christina M; Partilla, John S; Tidgewell, Kevin; Schmidt, Matthew; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2007-02-01

    Salvinorin A [(2S,4aR,6aR,7R,9S,10aS,10bR)-9-(acetyloxy)-2-(3-furanyl)-dodecahydro-6a,10b-dimethyl-4,10-dioxo-2h-naphtho[2,1-c]pyran-7-carboxylic acid methyl ester] is a hallucinogenic kappa-opioid receptor agonist that lacks the usual basic nitrogen atom present in other known opioid ligands. Our first published studies indicated that Salvinorin A weakly inhibited mu-receptor binding, and subsequent experiments revealed that Salvinorin A partially inhibited mu-receptor binding. Therefore, we hypothesized that Salvinorin A allosterically modulates mu-receptor binding. To test this hypothesis, we used Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing the cloned human opioid receptor. Salvinorin A partially inhibited [(3)H]Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-N-Me-Phe-Gly-ol (DAMGO) (0.5, 2.0, and 8.0 nM) binding with E(MAX) values of 78.6, 72.1, and 45.7%, respectively, and EC(50) values of 955, 1124, and 4527 nM, respectively. Salvinorin A also partially inhibited [(3)H]diprenorphine (0.02, 0.1, and 0.5 nM) binding with E(MAX) values of 86.2, 64, and 33.6%, respectively, and EC(50) values of 1231, 866, and 3078 nM, respectively. Saturation binding studies with [(3)H]DAMGO showed that Salvinorin A (10 and 30 microM) decreased the mu-receptor B(max) and increased the K(d) in a dose-dependent nonlinear manner. Saturation binding studies with [(3)H]diprenorphine showed that Salvinorin A (10 and 40 microM) decreased the mu-receptor B(max) and increased the K(d) in a dose-dependent nonlinear manner. Similar findings were observed in rat brain with [(3)H]DAMGO. Kinetic experiments demonstrated that Salvinorin A altered the dissociation kinetics of both [(3)H]DAMGO and [(3)H]diprenorphine binding to mu receptors. Furthermore, Salvinorin A acted as an uncompetitive inhibitor of DAMGO-stimulated guanosine 5'-O-(3-[(35)S]thio)-triphosphate binding. Viewed collectively, these data support the hypothesis that Salvinorin A allosterically modulates the mu-opioid receptor.

  9. New opioids.

    PubMed

    Mercadante, Sebastiano; Porzio, Giampiero; Gebbia, Vittorio

    2014-06-01

    Despite the skilled use of opioid analgesics, which is crucial to the relief of cancer pain, there is a lack of evidence to support many aspects of current clinical practice. Therefore, there is a significant need for more effective treatment options. New opioids have been marketed in the past years, including hydrocodone and oxymorphone. Moreover, mixed opioids with combined mechanisms of action have been developed; one such agent, tapentadol, is a centrally acting oral analgesic that possesses a combined mechanism of action: μ-opioid receptor activation with norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. Drug development strategies involving naloxone have been initiated to reduce peripheral opioid-related adverse effects. The rationale is based on the local antagonist activity of naloxone in intestinal opioid receptors and the negligible oral bioavailability of naloxone, particularly in a prolonged-release formulation. New delivery systems have been developed to provide rapid analgesia with potent opioid drugs such as fentanyl. Despite the upcoming availability of these new drugs and technologies that will add to existing types of opioid medication, their benefits and liabilities will ultimately need to be determined by the individual physician and individual patient experiencing pain.

  10. The opioid peptide dynorphin directly blocks NMDA receptor channels in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, L; Gu, Y; Huang, L Y

    1995-01-01

    1. The actions of dynorphin on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) responses were examined in acutely dissociated trigeminal neurons in rat. Whole-cell and single-channel currents were recorded using the patch clamp technique. 2. Dynorphins reduced NMDA-activated currents (INMDA). The IC50 was 0.25 microM for dynorphin (1-32), 1.65 microM for dynorphin (1-17) and 1.8 microM for dynorphin (1-13). 3. The blocking action of dynorphin is voltage independent. 4. The inhibitory action of dynorphin cannot be blocked by high concentration of the non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone, nor by the specific kappa-opioid receptor antagonist nor-Binaltorphimine (nor-BNI). 5. Single-channel analyses indicate that dynorphin reduces the fraction of time the channel is open without altering the channel conductance. 6. We propose that dynorphin acts directly on NMDA receptors. PMID:7537820

  11. Nanoconjugated NAP as a Potent and Periphery Selective Mu Opioid Receptor Modulator To Treat Opioid-Induced Constipation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guoyan G; Zolotarskaya, Olga Yu; Williams, Dwight A; Yuan, Yunyun; Selley, Dana E; Dewey, William L; Akbarali, Hamid I; Yang, Hu; Zhang, Yan

    2017-01-12

    Opioids are the mainstay for cancer and noncancer pain management. However, their use is often associated with multiple adverse effects. Among them, the most common and persistent one is probably opioid-induced constipation (OIC). Periphery selective opioid antagonists may alleviate the symptoms of OIC without compromising the analgesic effects of opioids. Recently our laboratories have identified one novel lead compound, 17-cyclopropylmethyl-3,14β-dihydroxy-4,5α-epoxy-6β-[(4'-pyridyl)acetamido]morphinan (NAP), as a peripherally selective mu opioid receptor ligand carrying subnanomolar affinity to the mu opioid receptor and over 100-folds of selectivity over both the delta and kappa opioid receptors, with reasonable oral availability and half-life, and potential to treat OIC. Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems are now widely considered due to their technological advantages such as good stability, high carrier capacity, low therapeutic side effects, etc. Herein we report nanoparticle supported NAP as a potential candidate for OIC treatment with improved peripheral selectivity over the original lead compound NAP.

  12. Opioid neurotransmission in the post-ictal analgesia: involvement of mu(1)-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Coimbra, N C; Freitas, R L; Savoldi, M; Castro-Souza, C; Segato, E N; Kishi, R; Weltson, A; Resende, G C

    2001-06-08

    Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), a non-competitive antagonist that blocks GABA-mediated Cl(-) flux, was used in the present work to induce seizures in animals. The aim of this work is to study the neurochemical basis of the antinociception induced by convulsions elicited by peripheral administration of PTZ (64 mg/kg). The analgesia was measured by the tail-flick test, in eight rats per group. Convulsions were followed by significative increase in the tail-flick latencies (TFL), for at least 120 min of the post-ictal period. Peripheral administration of naltrexone (5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg) caused a significant decrease in the TFL in seizing animals, as compared to controls. These data were corroborated with peripheral administration of naloxonazine (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg), a mu(1)-opioid blocker, in the same doses used for non-specific antagonist. These results indicate that endogenous opioids may be involved in the post-ictal analgesia. The involvement of mu(1)-opioid receptor was also considered.

  13. Endogenous Opioid Activity in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex Is Required for Relief of Pain

    PubMed Central

    Navratilova, Edita; Xie, Jennifer Yanhua; Meske, Diana; Qu, Chaoling; Morimura, Kozo; Okun, Alec; Arakawa, Naohisa; Ossipov, Michael; Fields, Howard L.

    2015-01-01

    Pain is aversive, and its relief elicits reward mediated by dopaminergic signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a part of the mesolimbic reward motivation pathway. How the reward pathway is engaged by pain-relieving treatments is not known. Endogenous opioid signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), an area encoding pain aversiveness, contributes to pain modulation. We examined whether endogenous ACC opioid neurotransmission is required for relief of pain and subsequent downstream activation of NAc dopamine signaling. Conditioned place preference (CPP) and in vivo microdialysis were used to assess negative reinforcement and NAc dopaminergic transmission. In rats with postsurgical or neuropathic pain, blockade of opioid signaling in the rostral ACC (rACC) inhibited CPP and NAc dopamine release resulting from non-opioid pain-relieving treatments, including peripheral nerve block or spinal clonidine, an α2-adrenergic agonist. Conversely, pharmacological activation of rACC opioid receptors of injured, but not pain-free, animals was sufficient to stimulate dopamine release in the NAc and produce CPP. In neuropathic, but not sham-operated, rats, systemic doses of morphine that did not affect withdrawal thresholds elicited CPP and NAc dopamine release, effects that were prevented by blockade of ACC opioid receptors. The data provide a neural explanation for the preferential effects of opioids on pain affect and demonstrate that engagement of NAc dopaminergic transmission by non-opioid pain-relieving treatments depends on upstream ACC opioid circuits. Endogenous opioid signaling in the ACC appears to be both necessary and sufficient for relief of pain aversiveness. PMID:25948274

  14. Intermittent-access binge consumption of sweet high-fat liquid does not require opioid or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Kim, James J.; Nicola, Saleem M.

    2015-01-01

    Binge eating disorders are characterized by episodes of intense consumption of high-calorie food. In recently developed animal models of binge eating, rats given intermittent access to such food escalate their consumption over time. Consumption of calorie-dense food is associated with neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens, including dopamine release and alterations in dopamine and opioid receptor expression. Therefore, we hypothesized that binge-like consumption on intermittent access schedules is dependent on opioid and/or dopamine neurotransmission in the accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether injection of dopamine and opioid receptor antagonists into the core and shell of the accumbens reduced consumption of a sweet high-fat liquid in rats with and without a history of intermittent binge access to the liquid. Although injection of a μ opioid agonist increased consumption, none of the antagonists (including μ opioid, δ opioid, κ opioid, D1 dopamine and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists, as well as the broad-spectrum opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone) reduced consumption, and this was the case whether or not the animals had a prior history of intermittent access. These results suggest that consumption of sweet, fatty food does not require opioid or dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens even under intermittent access conditions that resemble human binge episodes. PMID:26097003

  15. Intermittent-access binge consumption of sweet high-fat liquid does not require opioid or dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Kim, James J; Nicola, Saleem M

    2015-10-01

    Binge eating disorders are characterized by episodes of intense consumption of high-calorie food. In recently developed animal models of binge eating, rats given intermittent access to such food escalate their consumption over time. Consumption of calorie-dense food is associated with neurochemical changes in the nucleus accumbens, including dopamine release and alterations in dopamine and opioid receptor expression. Therefore, we hypothesized that binge-like consumption on intermittent access schedules is dependent on opioid and/or dopamine neurotransmission in the accumbens. To test this hypothesis, we asked whether injection of dopamine and opioid receptor antagonists into the core and shell of the accumbens reduced consumption of a sweet high-fat liquid in rats with and without a history of intermittent binge access to the liquid. Although injection of a μ opioid agonist increased consumption, none of the antagonists (including μ opioid, δ opioid, κ opioid, D1 dopamine and D2 dopamine receptor antagonists, as well as the broad-spectrum opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone) reduced consumption, and this was the case whether or not the animals had a prior history of intermittent access. These results suggest that consumption of sweet, fatty food does not require opioid or dopamine receptor activation in the accumbens even under intermittent access conditions that resemble human binge episodes.

  16. Impact of efficacy at the μ-opioid receptor on antinociceptive effects of combinations of μ-opioid receptor agonists and cannabinoid receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Maguire, David R; France, Charles P

    2014-11-01

    Cannabinoid receptor agonists, such as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), enhance the antinociceptive effects of μ-opioid receptor agonists, which suggests that combining cannabinoids with opioids would improve pain treatment. Combinations with lower efficacy agonists might be preferred and could avoid adverse effects associated with large doses; however, it is unclear whether interactions between opioids and cannabinoids vary across drugs with different efficacy. The antinociceptive effects of μ-opioid receptor agonists alone and in combination with cannabinoid receptor agonists were studied in rhesus monkeys (n = 4) using a warm water tail withdrawal procedure. Etorphine, fentanyl, morphine, buprenorphine, nalbuphine, Δ(9)-THC, and CP 55,940 (2-[(1R,2R,5R)-5-hydroxy-2-(3-hydroxypropyl) cyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol) each increased tail withdrawal latency. Pretreatment with doses of Δ(9)-THC (1.0 mg/kg) or CP 55,940 (0.032 mg/kg) that were ineffective alone shifted the fentanyl dose-effect curve leftward 20.6- and 52.9-fold, respectively, and the etorphine dose-effect curve leftward 12.4- and 19.6-fold, respectively. Δ(9)-THC and CP 55,940 shifted the morphine dose-effect curve leftward only 3.4- and 7.9-fold, respectively, and the buprenorphine curve only 5.4- and 4.1-fold, respectively. Neither Δ(9)-THC nor CP 55,940 significantly altered the effects of nalbuphine. Cannabinoid receptor agonists increase the antinociceptive potency of higher efficacy opioid receptor agonists more than lower efficacy agonists; however, because much smaller doses of each drug can be administered in combinations while achieving adequate pain relief and that other (e.g., abuse-related) effects of opioids do not appear to be enhanced by cannabinoids, these results provide additional support for combining opioids with cannabinoids to treat pain.

  17. Fluoxetine alters mu opioid receptor expression in obese Zucker rat extrahypothalamic regions.

    PubMed

    Churruca, Itziar; Portillo, María P; Zumalabe, José María; Macarulla, María T; Sáenz Del Burgo, Laura; Zarate, Jon; Echevarría, Enrique

    2006-03-01

    The aim of this article was to describe the effects of chronic fluoxetine on mu opioid receptor expression in obese Zucker rat extrahypothalamic regions. Male obese Zucker (fa/fa) rats were administered with fluoxetine (10 mg/kg; i.p.) daily for two weeks. Brain regional immunostaining for mu opioid receptor was carried out. An increase in the numbers of neural cells immunostained for mu opioid receptor in caudatus-putamen, dentate gyrus, lateral septum, amygdala, and frontal, parietal, and piriform cortices was observed. Increased mu opioid receptor expression in the central amygdaloid nuclei suggests a decreased opioidergic tone at this level that could be involved in fluoxetine anorectic action.

  18. Supraspinal Gβγ-dependent stimulation of PLCβ3 originating from G inhibitory protein-μ opioid receptor-coupling is necessary for morphine induced acute hyperalgesia

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Enrica; Norcini, Monica; Smrcka, Alan; Ghelardini, Carla

    2009-01-01

    Although alterations in μ-opioid receptor signaling mediate excitatory effects of opiates in opioid tolerance, the molecular mechanism for the excitatory effect of acute low dose morphine, as it relates to μ-opioid receptor coupling, is presently unknown. A pronounced coupling of μ-opioid receptor to the α subunit of G inhibitory protein emerged in periaqueductal gray from mice systemically administered with morphine at a dose producing acute thermal hyperalgesia. This coupling was abolished in presence of the selective μ-opioid receptor receptor antagonist CTOP administered at the periaqueductal gray site, showing that the low dose morphine effect is triggered by μ-opioid receptor activated G inhibitory protein at supraspinal level. When Gβγ downstream signalling was blocked by intra-periaqueductal gray co-administration of M119, a compound that inhibits Gβγ dimer-dependent signaling, a complete prevention of low dose morphine induced acute thermal hyperalgesia was obtained. Phospholipase C β3, an enzyme necessary to morphine hyperalgesia, was revealed to be associated with Gβγ in periaqueductal gray. Although opioid administration induces a shift in μ-opioid receptor-G protein coupling from Gi to Gs after chronic administration, our data support that this condition is not realized in acute treatment providing evidence that a separate molecular mechanism underlies morphine induced acute excitatory effect. PMID:19656263

  19. Prefrontal Cortical Kappa Opioid Receptors Attenuate Responses to Amygdala Inputs.

    PubMed

    Tejeda, Hugo A; Hanks, Ashley N; Scott, Liam; Mejias-Aponte, Carlos; Hughes, Zoë A; O'Donnell, Patricio

    2015-12-01

    Kappa opioid receptors (KORs) have been implicated in anxiety and stress, conditions that involve activation of projections from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Although KORs have been studied in several brain regions, their role on mPFC physiology and on BLA projections to the mPFC remains unclear. Here, we explored whether KORs modify synaptic inputs from the BLA to the mPFC using in vivo electrophysiological recordings with electrical and optogenetic stimulation. Systemic administration of the KOR agonist U69,593 inhibited BLA-evoked synaptic responses in the mPFC without altering hippocampus-evoked responses. Intra-mPFC U69,593 inhibited electrical and optogenetic BLA-evoked synaptic responses, an effect blocked by the KOR antagonist nor-BNI. Bilateral intra-mPFC injection of the KOR antagonist nor-BNI increased center time in the open field test, suggesting an anxiolytic effect. The data demonstrate that mPFC KORs negatively regulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the BLA-mPFC pathway and anxiety-like behavior. These findings provide a framework whereby KOR signaling during stress and anxiety can regulate the flow of emotional state information from the BLA to the mPFC.

  20. [THE INFLUENCE OF OPIOID PEPTIDES ON LIPID PEROXIDATION AND ANTIOXIDANT ENZYME ACTIVITY IN RATS AFTER SWIMMING STRESS].

    PubMed

    Solin, A V; Lyashev, Yu D

    2015-08-01

    It was established in experiments on rats, that injection of opioid peptides DAGO (a selective igonist of opioid mu-receptors), DSLET (a selective agonist of opioid delta-receptors) or dynorpiin A (1-13) (a selective agonist of opioid kappa-receptors) decreased the stress-induced activatin of lipid peroxidation in liver tissue and plasma. A selective agonist of opioid mu-receptors) AGO manifested the most expressed activity. The using of investigating peptides caused the increase of superoxiddismutase activity in liver tissue. The reinforcement of catalase activity was )bserved in DSLET or dynorphin A (1-13). DAGO decreased its activity. The peptide effects of lifferent directions oncatalase activity in plasma were established. These effects can be explained y the stress-limiting action of peptides in entire organism, the peculiarities of opioid receptors spreading in liver tissue and by the influence of preceded load with non-complete oxidized sub stances after intensive swimming on the opioid receptor affinity.

  1. Molecular mechanism for opioid dichotomy: bidirectional effect of μ-opioid receptors on P2X₃ receptor currents in rat sensory neurones.

    PubMed

    Chizhmakov, Igor; Kulyk, Vyacheslav; Khasabova, Iryna; Khasabov, Sergey; Simone, Donald; Bakalkin, Georgy; Gordienko, Dmitri; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Krishtal, Oleg

    2015-06-01

    Here, we describe a molecular switch associated with opioid receptors-linked signalling cascades that provides a dual opioid control over P2X3 purinoceptor in sensory neurones. Leu-enkephalin inhibited P2X3-mediated currents with IC50 ~10 nM in ~25% of small nociceptive rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones. In contrast, in neurones pretreated with pertussis toxin leu-enkephalin produced stable and significant increase of P2X3 currents. All effects of opioid were abolished by selective μ-opioid receptor antagonist D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Orn-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 (CTOP), nonselective inhibitor naloxone, and by PLC inhibitor U73122. Thus, we discovered a dual link between purinoceptors and μ-opioid receptors: the latter exert both inhibitory (pertussis toxin-sensitive) and stimulatory (pertussis toxin-insensitive) actions on P2X3 receptors through phospholipase C (PLC)-dependent pathways. This dual opioid control of P2X3 receptors may provide a molecular explanation for dichotomy of opioid therapy. Pharmacological control of this newly identified facilitation/inhibition switch may open new perspectives for the adequate medical use of opioids, the most powerful pain-killing agents known today.

  2. Antinociceptive role of oxytocin in the nucleus raphe magnus of rats, an involvement of mu-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing-Wen; Lundeberg, Thomas; Yu, Long-Chuan

    2003-10-15

    Recent studies showed that oxytocin plays an important role in nociceptive modulation in the central nervous system. The present study was undertaken to investigate the role of oxytocin in antinociception in the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) of rats and the possible interaction between oxytocin and the opioid systems. Intra-NRM injection of oxytocin induced dose-dependent increases in hindpaw withdrawal latencies (HWLs) to noxious thermal and mechanical stimulation in rats. The antinociceptive effect of oxytocin was significantly attenuated by subsequent intra-NRM injection of the oxytocin antagonist 1-deamino-2-D-Tyr-(Oet)-4-Thr-8-Orn-oxytocin. Intra-NRM injection of naloxone dose-dependently antagonized the increased HWLs induced by preceding intra-NRM injection of oxytocin, indicating an involvement of opioid receptors in oxytocin-induced antinociception in the NRM of rats. Furthermore, the antinociceptive effect of oxytocin was dose-dependently attenuated by subsequent intra-NRM injection of the mu-opioid antagonist beta-funaltrexamine (beta-FNA), but not by the kappa-opioid antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI) or the delta-opioid antagonist naltrindole. The results demonstrated that oxytocin plays an antinociceptive role in the NRM of rats through activating the oxytocin receptor. Moreover, mu-opioid receptors, not kappa and delta receptors, are involved in the oxytocin-induced antinociception in the NRM of rats.

  3. Early role of the κ opioid receptor in ethanol-induced reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Pautassi, Ricardo Marcos; Nizhnikov, Michael E; Acevedo, Ma Belén; Spear, Norman E

    2012-03-20

    Effects of early ethanol exposure on later ethanol intake emphasize the importance of understanding the neurobiology of ethanol-induced reinforcement early in life. Infant rats exhibit ethanol-induced appetitive conditioning and ethanol-induced locomotor activation, which have been linked in theory and may have mechanisms in common. The appetitive effects of ethanol are significantly modulated by μ and δ opioid receptors, whereas μ but not δ receptors are involved in the motor stimulant effects of ethanol during early development. The involvement of the κ opioid receptor (KOR) system in the motivational effects of ethanol has been much less explored. The present study assessed, in preweanling (infant) rats, the modulatory role of the KOR system in several paradigms sensitive to ethanol-induced reinforcement. Kappa opioid activation and blockade were examined in second-order conditioned place preference with varied timing before conditioning and with varied ethanol doses. The role of KOR on ethanol-induced locomotion and ethanol-induced taste conditioning was also explored. The experiments were based on the assumption that ethanol concurrently induces appetitive and aversive effects and that the latter may be mediated by activation of kappa receptors. The main result was that blockade of kappa function facilitated the expression of appetitive ethanol reinforcement in terms of tactile and taste conditioning. The effects of kappa activation on ethanol conditioning seemed to be independent from ethanol's stimulant effects. Kappa opioid activation potentiated the motor depressing effects of ethanol but enhanced motor activity in control subjects. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that a reduced function of the KOR system in nondependent subjects should attenuate the aversive consequences of ethanol.

  4. Early role of the κ opioid receptor in ethanol-induced reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Pautassi, Ricardo Marcos; Nizhnikov, Michael E.; Acevedo, Ma. Belén; Spear, Norman E.

    2012-01-01

    Effects of early ethanol exposure on later ethanol intake emphasize the importance of understanding the neurobiology of ethanol-induced reinforcement early in life. Infant rats exhibit ethanol-induced appetitive conditioning and ethanol-induced locomotor activation, which have been linked in theory and may have mechanisms in common. The appetitive effects of ethanol are significantly modulated by μ and δ opioid receptors, whereas μ but not δ receptors are involved in the motor stimulant effects of ethanol during early development. The involvement of the κ opioid receptor (KOR) system in the motivational effects of ethanol has been much less explored. The present study assessed, in preweanling (infant) rats, the modulatory role of the KOR system in several paradigms sensitive to ethanol-induced reinforcement. Kappa opioid activation and blockade was examined in second-order conditioned place preference with varied timing before conditioning and with varied ethanol doses. The role of KOR on ethanol-induced locomotion and ethanol-induced taste conditioning was also explored. The experiments were based on the assumption that ethanol concurrently induces appetitive and aversive effects and that the latter may be mediated by activation of kappa receptors. The main result was that blockade of kappa function facilitated the expression of appetitive ethanol reinforcement in terms of tactile and taste conditioning. The effects of kappa activation on ethanol conditioning seemed to be independent from ethanol's stimulant effects. Kappa opioid activation potentiated the motor depressing effects of ethanol but enhanced motor activity in control subjects. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that a reduced function of the KOR system in nondependent subjects should attenuate the aversive consequences of ethanol. PMID:22261437

  5. Dietary peptides induce satiety via cholecystokinin-A and peripheral opioid receptors in rats.

    PubMed

    Pupovac, Jelena; Anderson, G Harvey

    2002-09-01

    We hypothesized that the digestion of proteins gives rise to peptides that initiate several satiety signals from the gut, and that the signals arising will be dependent on the protein source. The role of peripheral opioid and cholecystokinin (CCK)-A receptors was investigated. Casein, soy protein, and casein and soy hydrolysates were administered to rats by gavage (0.5 g protein/4 mL water). Food intake was measured over 2 h. The opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone methiodide (1.0 mg/kg) given intraperitoneally (i.p.), increased food intake when given at the same time as the hydrolysate preloads, 25 min after the casein preloads and 55 min after the soy protein preloads. The CCK-A receptor antagonist, devazepide (which reverses protein-induced food intake suppression), when given at 0.25 mg/kg, i.p., 60 min before preloads of each of three soy hydrolysates, also blocked suppression of food intake, but the strength and duration of the interaction depended on the preparation. When the two receptor antagonists were both administered with soy or casein preloads, their effects were additive. We conclude that peptides arising from digestion contribute to satiety by independent activation of both opioid and CCK-A receptors.

  6. Synaptic localization of. kappa. opioid receptors in guinea pig neostriatum

    SciTech Connect

    Jomary, C.; Beaudet, A. ); Gairin, J.E. )

    1992-01-15

    Distribution of {kappa} opioid receptors was examined by EM radioautography in sections of guinea pig neostriatum with the selective {sup 125}I-labeled dynorphin analog (D-Pro{sup 10})dynorphin-(1-11). Most specifically labeled binding sites were found by probability circle analysis to be associated with neuronal membrane appositions. Because of limitations in resolution of the method, the radioactive sources could not be ascribed directly to either one of the apposed plasma membranes. Nevertheless, three lines of evidence favored a predominant association of ligand with dendrites of intrinsic striatal neurons: (1) the high frequency with which labeled interfaces implicated a dendrite, (2) the enrichment of dendrodendritic interfaces, and (3) the occurrence of dendritic profiles labeled at several contact points along their plasma membranes. A small proportion of labeled sites was associated with axo-axonic interfaces, which may subserve the {kappa} opioid-induced regulation of presynaptic dopamine and acetylcholine release documented in guinea pig neostriatum. These results support the hypothesis that in mammalian brain {kappa} opioid receptors are conformationally and functionally distinct from {mu} and {delta} types.

  7. Synaptic localization of kappa opioid receptors in guinea pig neostriatum.

    PubMed Central

    Jomary, C; Gairin, J E; Beaudet, A

    1992-01-01

    Distribution of kappa opioid receptors was examined by EM radioautography in sections of guinea pig neostriatum with the selective 125I-labeled dynorphin analog [D-Pro10]dynorphin-(1-11). Most specifically labeled binding sites were found by probability circle analysis to be associated with neuronal membrane appositions. Because of limitations in resolution of the method, the radioactive sources could not be ascribed directly to either one of the apposed plasma membranes. Nevertheless, three lines of evidence favored a predominant association of ligand with dendrites of intrinsic striatal neurons: (i) the high frequency with which labeled interfaces implicated a dendrite, (ii) the enrichment of dendro-dendritic interfaces, and (iii) the occurrence of dendritic profiles labeled at several contact points along their plasma membranes. A small proportion of labeled sites was associated with axo-axonic interfaces, which may subserve the kappa opioid-induced regulation of presynaptic dopamine and acetylcholine release documented in guinea pig neostriatum. Although most membrane-associated kappa sites were found at extrasynaptic locations, approximately 23% were associated with synaptic specializations. This proportion is markedly higher than that previously reported for either mu or delta sites in rat neostriatum. Whether labeled synapses represent preferential sites of action for kappa ligands remains to be established. In any event, these results support the hypothesis that in mammalian brain kappa opioid receptors are conformationally and functionally distinct from mu and delta types. Images PMID:1346233

  8. Modulation of peripheral μ-opioid analgesia by σ1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Fernández, Cristina; Montilla-García, Ángeles; González-Cano, Rafael; Nieto, Francisco Rafael; Romero, Lucía; Artacho-Cordón, Antonia; Montes, Rosa; Fernández-Pastor, Begoña; Merlos, Manuel; Baeyens, José Manuel; Entrena, José Manuel; Cobos, Enrique José

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of σ1-receptor inhibition on μ-opioid-induced mechanical antinociception and constipation. σ1-Knockout mice exhibited marked mechanical antinociception in response to several μ-opioid analgesics (fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, buprenorphine, and tramadol) at systemic (subcutaneous) doses that were inactive in wild-type mice and even unmasked the antinociceptive effects of the peripheral μ-opioid agonist loperamide. Likewise, systemic (subcutaneous) or local (intraplantar) treatment of wild-type mice with the selective σ1 antagonists BD-1063 [1-[2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]-4-methylpiperazine dihydrochloride] or S1RA [4-[2-[[5-methyl-1-(2-naphthalenyl)1H-pyrazol-3-yl]oxy]ethyl] morpholine hydrochloride] potentiated μ-opioid antinociception; these effects were fully reversed by the σ1 agonist PRE-084 [2-(4-morpholinethyl)1-phenylcyclohexanecarboxylate) hydrochloride], showing the selectivity of the pharmacological approach. The μ-opioid antinociception potentiated by σ1 inhibition (by σ1-receptor knockout or σ1-pharmacological antagonism) was more sensitive to the peripherally restricted opioid antagonist naloxone methiodide than opioid antinociception under normal conditions, indicating a key role for peripheral opioid receptors in the enhanced antinociception. Direct interaction between the opioid drugs and σ1 receptor cannot account for our results, since the former lacked affinity for σ1 receptors (labeled with [(3)H](+)-pentazocine). A peripheral role for σ1 receptors was also supported by their higher density (Western blot results) in peripheral nervous tissue (dorsal root ganglia) than in several central areas involved in opioid antinociception (dorsal spinal cord, basolateral amygdala, periaqueductal gray, and rostroventral medulla). In contrast to its effects on nociception, σ1-receptor inhibition did not alter fentanyl- or loperamide-induced constipation, a peripherally mediated nonanalgesic opioid effect. Therefore

  9. The G Protein–Biased κ-Opioid Receptor Agonist RB-64 Is Analgesic with a Unique Spectrum of Activities In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    White, Kate L.; Robinson, J. Elliott; Zhu, Hu; DiBerto, Jeffrey F.; Polepally, Prabhakar R.; Zjawiony, Jordan K.; Nichols, David E.; Malanga, C. J.

    2015-01-01

    The hypothesis that functionally selective G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists may have enhanced therapeutic benefits has revitalized interest for many GPCR targets. In particular, although κ-opioid receptor (KOR) agonists are analgesic with a low risk of dependence and abuse, their use is limited by a propensity to induce sedation, motor incoordination, hallucinations, and dysphoria-like states. Several laboratories have produced a body of work suggesting that G protein–biased KOR agonists might be analgesic with fewer side effects. Although that has been an intriguing hypothesis, suitable KOR-selective and G protein–biased agonists have not been available to test this idea. Here we provide data using a G protein–biased agonist, RB-64 (22-thiocyanatosalvinorin A), which suggests that KOR-mediated G protein signaling induces analgesia and aversion, whereas β-arrestin-2 signaling may be associated with motor incoordination. Additionally, unlike unbiased KOR agonists, the G protein–biased ligand RB-64 does not induce sedation and does not have anhedonia-like actions, suggesting that a mechanism other than G protein signaling mediates these effects. Our findings provide the first evidence for a highly selective and G protein–biased tool compound for which many, but not all, of the negative side effects of KOR agonists can be minimized by creating G protein–biased KOR agonists. PMID:25320048

  10. Structural and functional interactions between six-transmembrane μ-opioid receptors and β2-adrenoreceptors modulate opioid signaling.

    PubMed

    Samoshkin, Alexander; Convertino, Marino; Viet, Chi T; Wieskopf, Jeffrey S; Kambur, Oleg; Marcovitz, Jaclyn; Patel, Pinkal; Stone, Laura S; Kalso, Eija; Mogil, Jeffrey S; Schmidt, Brian L; Maixner, William; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Diatchenko, Luda

    2015-12-11

    The primary molecular target for clinically used opioids is the μ-opioid receptor (MOR). Besides the major seven-transmembrane (7TM) receptors, the MOR gene codes for alternatively spliced six-transmembrane (6TM) isoforms, the biological and clinical significance of which remains unclear. Here, we show that the otherwise exclusively intracellular localized 6TM-MOR translocates to the plasma membrane upon coexpression with β2-adrenergic receptors (β2-ARs) through an interaction with the fifth and sixth helices of β2-AR. Coexpression of the two receptors in BE(2)-C neuroblastoma cells potentiates calcium responses to a 6TM-MOR ligand, and this calcium response is completely blocked by a selective β2-antagonist in BE(2)-C cells, and in trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia. Co-administration of 6TM-MOR and β2-AR ligands leads to substantial analgesic synergy and completely reverses opioid-induced hyperalgesia in rodent behavioral models. Together, our results provide evidence that the heterodimerization of 6TM-MOR with β2-AR underlies a molecular mechanism for 6TM cellular signaling, presenting a unique functional responses to opioids. This signaling pathway may contribute to the hyperalgesic effects of opioids that can be efficiently blocked by β2-AR antagonists, providing a new avenue for opioid therapy.

  11. Structural and functional interactions between six-transmembrane μ-opioid receptors and β2-adrenoreceptors modulate opioid signaling

    PubMed Central

    Samoshkin, Alexander; Convertino, Marino; Viet, Chi T.; Wieskopf, Jeffrey S.; Kambur, Oleg; Marcovitz, Jaclyn; Patel, Pinkal; Stone, Laura S.; Kalso, Eija; Mogil, Jeffrey S.; Schmidt, Brian L.; Maixner, William; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Diatchenko, Luda

    2015-01-01

    The primary molecular target for clinically used opioids is the μ-opioid receptor (MOR). Besides the major seven-transmembrane (7TM) receptors, the MOR gene codes for alternatively spliced six-transmembrane (6TM) isoforms, the biological and clinical significance of which remains unclear. Here, we show that the otherwise exclusively intracellular localized 6TM-MOR translocates to the plasma membrane upon coexpression with β2-adrenergic receptors (β2-ARs) through an interaction with the fifth and sixth helices of β2-AR. Coexpression of the two receptors in BE(2)-C neuroblastoma cells potentiates calcium responses to a 6TM-MOR ligand, and this calcium response is completely blocked by a selective β2-antagonist in BE(2)-C cells, and in trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia. Co-administration of 6TM-MOR and β2-AR ligands leads to substantial analgesic synergy and completely reverses opioid-induced hyperalgesia in rodent behavioral models. Together, our results provide evidence that the heterodimerization of 6TM-MOR with β2-AR underlies a molecular mechanism for 6TM cellular signaling, presenting a unique functional responses to opioids. This signaling pathway may contribute to the hyperalgesic effects of opioids that can be efficiently blocked by β2-AR antagonists, providing a new avenue for opioid therapy. PMID:26657998

  12. Antinociceptive and hypothermic effects of Salvinorin A are abolished in a novel strain of kappa-opioid receptor-1 knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Ansonoff, Michael A; Zhang, Jiwen; Czyzyk, Traci; Rothman, Richard B; Stewart, Jeremy; Xu, Heng; Zjwiony, Jordan; Siebert, Daniel J; Yang, Feng; Roth, Bryan L; Pintar, John E

    2006-08-01

    Salvia divinorum is a natural occurring hallucinogen that is traditionally used by the Mazatec Indians of central Mexico. The diterpene salvinorin A was identified as an active component of S. divinorum over 20 years ago, but only recently has biochemical screening indicated that a molecular target of salvinorin A in vitro is the kappa-opioid receptor. We have examined whether salvinorin A, the C2-substituted derivative salvinorinyl-2-propionate, and salvinorin B can act as kappa-opioid receptor agonists in vivo. We found that following intracerebroventricular injection over a dose range of 1 to 30 microg of both salvinorin A and salvinorinyl-2-propionate produces antinociception in wild-type mice but not in a novel strain of kappa-opioid receptor knockout mice. Moreover, both salvinorin A and salvinorinyl-2-propionate reduce rectal body temperature, similar to conventional kappa-opioid receptor agonists, in a genotype-dependent manner. In addition, we determined that salvinorin A has high affinity for kappa 1- but not kappa 2-opioid receptors, demonstrating selectivity for this receptor subclass. Finally, treatment over the same dose range with salvinorin B, which is inactive in vitro, produced neither antinociceptive nor hypothermic effects in wild-type mice. These data demonstrate that salvinorin A is the active component of S. divinorum, selective for kappa(1)-opioid receptors, and that salvinorin A and specific structurally related analogs produce behavioral effects that require the kappa-opioid receptor.

  13. 2012 David W. Robertson Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry: Neoclerodanes as Atypical Opioid Receptor Ligands⊥

    PubMed Central

    Prisinzano, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    The neoclerodane diterpene salvinorin A is the major active component of the hallucinogenic mint plant Salvia divinorum Epling & Játiva (Lamiaceae). Since the finding that salvinorin A exerts its potent psychotropic actions through the activation of opioid receptors, the site of action of morphine and related analogues, there has been much interest in elucidating the underlying mechanisms behind its effects. These effects are particularly remarkable, because (1) salvinorin A is the first reported non-nitrogenous opioid receptor agonist, and (2) its effects are not mediated through the previously investigated targets of psychotomimetics. This perspective outlines our research program, illustrating a new direction to the development of tools to further elucidate the biological mechanisms of drug tolerance and dependence. The information gained from these efforts is expected to facilitate the design of novel agents to treat pain, drug abuse, and other CNS disorders. PMID:23548164

  14. The Effect of Opioid Receptor Blockade on the Neural Processing of Thermal Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Schoell, Eszter D.; Bingel, Ulrike; Eippert, Falk; Yacubian, Juliana; Christiansen, Kerrin; Andresen, Hilke; May, Arne; Buechel, Christian

    2010-01-01

    The endogenous opioid system represents one of the principal systems in the modulation of pain. This has been demonstrated in studies of placebo analgesia and stress-induced analgesia, where anti-nociceptive activity triggered by pain itself or by cognitive states is blocked by opioid antagonists. The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of opioid receptor blockade on the physiological processing of painful thermal stimulation in the absence of cognitive manipulation. We therefore measured BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) signal responses and intensity ratings to non-painful and painful thermal stimuli in a double-blind, cross-over design using the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. On the behavioral level, we observed an increase in intensity ratings under naloxone due mainly to a difference in the non-painful stimuli. On the neural level, painful thermal stimulation was associated with a negative BOLD signal within the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, and this deactivation was abolished by naloxone. PMID:20811582

  15. Ligand/kappa-Opioid Receptor Interactions: Insights from the X-Ray Crystal Structure

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Mayorga, Karina; Byler, Kendall G.; Yongye, Austin B.; Giulianotti, Marc A.; Dooley, Colette T.; Houghten, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    During the past five years, the three-dimensional structures of 14 different G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been resolved by X-ray crystallography. The most recently published structures, those of the opioid receptors (ORs), are remarkably important in pain modulation, drug addiction, and mood disorders. These structures, confirmed previously proposed key interactions conferring potency and antagonistic properties, including the well-known interaction with Asp138, conserved in all aminergic GPCRs. In addition, crystallization of the opioid receptors highlighted the potential function of the ECL2 and ICL2 loops. We have previously reported a set of potent and selective kappa opioid receptor peptide agonists, of which ff(D-nle)r-NH2 is among the most potent and selective ones. These peptides were identified from the deconvolution of a 6,250,000 tetrapeptide combinatorial library. A derivative of this set is currently the subject of a phase 2 clinical trial in the United States. In this work, we describe comparative molecular modeling studies of kappa-OR peptide agonists with the co-crystallized antagonist, JDTic, and also report structure-activity relationships of 23 tetrapeptides. The overall binding and contact interactions are sound and interactions known to favor selectivity and potency were observed. Additional modeling studies will reveal conformational changes that the kappa-OR undergoes upon binding to these peptide agonists. PMID:23792349

  16. Buprenorphine signalling is compromised at the N40D polymorphism of the human μ opioid receptor in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Knapman, Alisa; Santiago, Marina; Connor, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose There is significant variation in individual response to opioid drugs, which may result in inappropriate opioid therapy. Polymorphisms of the μ opioid receptor (MOP receptor) may contribute to individual variation in opioid response by affecting receptor function, and the effect may be ligand-specific. We sought to determine functional differences in MOP receptor signalling at several signalling pathways using a range of structurally distinct opioid ligands in cells expressing wild-type MOP receptors (MOPr-WT) and the commonly occurring MOP receptor variant, N40D. Experimental Approach MOPr-WT and MOPr-N40D were stably expressed in CHO cells and in AtT-20 cells. Assays of AC inhibition and ERK1/2 phosphorylation were performed on CHO cells, and assays of K activation were performed on AtT-20 cells. Signalling profiles for each ligand were compared between variants. Key Results Buprenorphine efficacy was reduced by over 50% at MOPr-N40D for AC inhibition and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Buprenorphine potency was reduced threefold at MOPr-N40D for K channel activation. Pentazocine efficacy was reduced by 50% for G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K channel activation at MOPr-N40D. No other differences were observed for any other ligands tested. Conclusions and Implications The N40D variant is present in 10–50% of the population. Buprenorphine is a commonly prescribed opioid analgesic, and many individuals do not respond to buprenorphine therapy. This study demonstrates that buprenorphine signalling to several effectors via the N40D variant of MOP receptors is impaired, and this may have important consequences in a clinical setting for individuals carrying the N40D allele. PMID:24846673

  17. ‘Carba’-carfentanil (trans isomer): a μ opioid receptor (MOR) partial agonist with a distinct binding mode

    PubMed Central

    Weltrowska, Grazyna; Lemieux, Carole; Chung, Nga N.; Guo, Jason J.; Wilkes, Brian C.; Schiller, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    There is strong evidence to indicate that a positively charged nitrogen of endogenous and exogenous opioid ligands forms a salt bridge with the Asp residue in the third transmembrane helix of opioid receptors. To further examine the role of this electrostatic interaction in opioid receptor binding and activation, we synthesized ‘carba’-analogues of the highly potent μ opioid analgesic carfentanil (3), in which the piperidine nitrogen was replaced with a carbon. The resulting trans isomer (8b) showed reduced, but still significant MOR binding affinity (Kiμ = 95.2 nM) with no MOR versus DOR binding selectivity and was a MOR partial agonist. The cis isomer (8a) was essentially inactive. A MOR docking study indicated that 8b bound to the same binding pocket as parent 3, but its binding mode was somewhat different. A reevaluation of the uncharged morphine derivative N-formylnormorphine (9) indicated that it was a weak MOR antagonist showing no preference for MOR over KOR. Taken together, the results indicate that deletion of the positively charged nitrogen in μ opioid analgesics reduces MOR binding affinity by 2–3 orders of magnitude and may have pronounced effects on the intrinsic efficacy and on the opioid receptor selectivity profile. PMID:25129170

  18. Enkephalins modulate inhibitory neuromuscular transmission in circular muscle of human colon via delta-opioid receptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hoyle, C H; Kamm, M A; Burnstock, G; Lennard-Jones, J E

    1990-01-01

    1. A sucrose-gap technique was used to investigate the neuromodulatory actions of enkephalins on non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) in the circular muscle of the human large intestine. 2. The native enkephalins, [Leu5]enkephalin (LENK) and [Met5]enkephalin (MENK) caused a concentration-dependent reduction in amplitude of IJPs without a significant effect on the smooth muscle membrane. 3. The actions of LENK and MENK were mimicked by the delta-selective opioid receptor agonists [D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE) and [D-Ala2, D-Leu5]enkephalin (DADLE). 4. The actions of LENK, MENK and DPDPE were antagonized to similar extents by the delta-selective opioid receptor antagonist ICI 174,864. 5. The mu-selective opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala2, Me Phe, Gly-ol5]enkephalin was approximately 100-fold less potent than any of the native or synthetic enkephalins at reducing the amplitude of the IJP. Dynorphin A and beta-endorphin both had very weak activity. 6. Responses to all of the agonists were inhibited by naloxone. The degree of antagonism of DPDPE or DADLE by naloxone (1 microM) was the same as that of LENK or MENK. 7. Neither MENK nor LENK affected hyperpolarization of the smooth muscle membrane induced by ATP or 5-hydroxytryptamine. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (1 pM-1 microM) did not produce any observable responses and this lack of reactivity was not affected by the enkephalins. 8. It is concluded that in the circular muscle of the human colon, LENK and MENK can act on prejunctional delta-opioid receptors to produce inhibition of non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory neuromuscular transmission. Possible physiological significance of this prejunctional receptor is discussed. PMID:1966052

  19. Alvimopan: a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist.

    PubMed

    Leslie, John B

    2007-09-01

    Postoperative ileus (POI), a transient cessation of coordinated bowel motility after surgery, is an important factor in extending the length of hospital stay. The etiology of POI is multifactorial, and related to both the surgical and anesthetic pathways chosen. Additionally, opioids used to manage non-cancer-related and cancer-related chronic pain may also decrease gastrointestinal (GI) motility resulting in opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD). Postoperative ileus has been associated with prolonged hospital stay and readmission, and thus may increase the overall hospital costs per patient with POI. Alvimopan, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist, accelerated time to GI recovery and reduced postoperative hospital length of stay in phase III POI clinical trials and improved symptoms of OBD compared with placebo in phase II/III clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently evaluating alvimopan for the management of POI after bowel resection. Alvimopan may provide clinically meaningful benefits to patients and may lower the economic burden of POI to the healthcare system.

  20. Delta Opioid Receptors: The Link between Exercise and Cardioprotection

    PubMed Central

    Borges, Juliana P.; Verdoorn, Karine S.; Daliry, Anissa; Powers, Scott K.; Ortenzi, Victor H.; Fortunato, Rodrigo S.; Tibiriçá, Eduardo; Lessa, Marcos Adriano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the role of opioid receptor (OR) subtypes as a mechanism by which endurance exercise promotes cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. Wistar rats were randomly divided into one of seven experimental groups: 1) control; 2) exercise-trained; 3) exercise-trained plus a non-selective OR antagonist; 4) control sham; 5) exercise-trained plus a kappa OR antagonist; 6) exercise-trained plus a delta OR antagonist; and 7) exercise-trained plus a mu OR antagonist. The exercised animals underwent 4 consecutive days of treadmill training (60 min/day at ∼70% of maximal oxygen consumption). All groups except the sham group were exposed to an in vivo myocardial IR insult, and the myocardial infarct size (IS) was determined histologically. Myocardial capillary density, OR subtype expression, heat shock protein 72 (HSP72) expression, and antioxidant enzyme activity were measured in the hearts of both the exercised and control groups. Exercise training significantly reduced the myocardial IS by approximately 34%. Pharmacological blockade of the kappa or mu OR subtypes did not blunt exercise-induced cardioprotection against IR-mediated infarction, whereas treatment of animals with a non-selective OR antagonist or a delta OR antagonist abolished exercise-induced cardioprotection. Exercise training enhanced the activities of myocardial superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase but did not increase the left ventricular capillary density or the mRNA levels of HSP72, SOD, and catalase. In addition, exercise significantly reduced the protein expression of kappa and delta ORs in the heart by 44% and 37%, respectively. Together, these results indicate that ORs contribute to the cardioprotection conferred by endurance exercise, with the delta OR subtype playing a key role in this response. PMID:25415192

  1. Distinct Effects of Nalmefene on Dopamine Uptake Rates and Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Following Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure.

    PubMed

    Rose, Jamie H; Karkhanis, Anushree N; Steiniger-Brach, Björn; Jones, Sara R

    2016-07-27

    The development of pharmacotherapeutics that reduce relapse to alcohol drinking in patients with alcohol dependence is of considerable research interest. Preclinical data support a role for nucleus accumbens (NAc) κ opioid receptors (KOR) in chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure-induced increases in ethanol intake. Nalmefene, a high-affinity KOR partial agonist, reduces drinking in at-risk patients and relapse drinking in rodents, potentially due to its effects on NAc KORs. However, the effects of nalmefene on accumbal dopamine transmission and KOR function are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of nalmefene on dopamine transmission and KORs using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in NAc brain slices from male C57BL/6J mice following five weeks of CIE or air exposure. Nalmefene concentration-dependently reduced dopamine release similarly in air and CIE groups, suggesting that dynorphin tone may not be present in brain slices. Further, nalmefene attenuated dopamine uptake rates to a greater extent in brain slices from CIE-exposed mice, suggesting that dopamine transporter-KOR interactions may be fundamentally altered following CIE. Additionally, nalmefene reversed the dopamine-decreasing effects of a maximal concentration of a KOR agonist selectively in brain slices of CIE-exposed mice. It is possible that nalmefene may attenuate withdrawal-induced increases in ethanol consumption by modulation of dopamine transmission through KORs.

  2. Distinct Effects of Nalmefene on Dopamine Uptake Rates and Kappa Opioid Receptor Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Following Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Jamie H.; Karkhanis, Anushree N.; Steiniger-Brach, Björn; Jones, Sara R.

    2016-01-01

    The development of pharmacotherapeutics that reduce relapse to alcohol drinking in patients with alcohol dependence is of considerable research interest. Preclinical data support a role for nucleus accumbens (NAc) κ opioid receptors (KOR) in chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure-induced increases in ethanol intake. Nalmefene, a high-affinity KOR partial agonist, reduces drinking in at-risk patients and relapse drinking in rodents, potentially due to its effects on NAc KORs. However, the effects of nalmefene on accumbal dopamine transmission and KOR function are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of nalmefene on dopamine transmission and KORs using fast scan cyclic voltammetry in NAc brain slices from male C57BL/6J mice following five weeks of CIE or air exposure. Nalmefene concentration-dependently reduced dopamine release similarly in air and CIE groups, suggesting that dynorphin tone may not be present in brain slices. Further, nalmefene attenuated dopamine uptake rates to a greater extent in brain slices from CIE-exposed mice, suggesting that dopamine transporter-KOR interactions may be fundamentally altered following CIE. Additionally, nalmefene reversed the dopamine-decreasing effects of a maximal concentration of a KOR agonist selectively in brain slices of CIE-exposed mice. It is possible that nalmefene may attenuate withdrawal-induced increases in ethanol consumption by modulation of dopamine transmission through KORs. PMID:27472317

  3. Abuse Potential and Pharmacodynamic Characteristics of Oral and Intranasal Eluxadoline, a Mixed μ- and κ-Opioid Receptor Agonist and δ-Opioid Receptor Antagonist

    PubMed Central

    McIntyre, G.; Bonifacio, L.; McDonnell, M.; Davenport, J. M.; Covington, P. S.; Dove, L. S.; Sellers, E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Drugs with μ-opioid receptor (OR) activity can be associated with abuse and misuse. The peripherally acting mixed μ-OR and κ-OR agonist and δ-OR antagonist eluxadoline is approved in the United States for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. In two separate crossover studies, we evaluated the oral and intranasal abuse potential of eluxadoline versus placebo and the active control oxycodone. Healthy recreational opioid users received eluxadoline 100, 300, and 1000 mg, oxycodone 30 and 60 mg, and placebo (oral study), or eluxadoline 100 and 200 mg, oxycodone 15 and 30 mg, and placebos matched to eluxadoline and oxycodone (intranasal study). In the oral study, Drug Liking Visual Analog Scale (VAS) peak (maximum) effect (Emax) score (primary endpoint) was significantly greater with eluxadoline 300 and 1000 mg versus placebo, but scores were significantly lower versus oxycodone. Following intranasal insufflation of eluxadoline, Drug Liking VAS Emax scores were not statistically different versus placebo, and were significantly lower versus oxycodone. Across other subjective measures, eluxadoline was generally similar to or disliked versus placebo. Pupillometry indicated no or minimal central effects with oral and intranasal eluxadoline, respectively. Adverse events of euphoric mood were reported with oral and intranasal eluxadoline but at a far lower frequency versus oxycodone. These data demonstrate that eluxadoline has less abuse potential than oxycodone in recreational opioid users. PMID:27647873

  4. Opioid Receptors Mediate Direct Predictive Fear Learning: Evidence from One-Trial Blocking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Sindy; McNally, Gavan P.

    2007-01-01

    Pavlovian fear learning depends on predictive error, so that fear learning occurs when the actual outcome of a conditioning trial exceeds the expected outcome. Previous research has shown that opioid receptors, including [mu]-opioid receptors in the ventrolateral quadrant of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (vlPAG), mediate such predictive fear…

  5. Binding-site analysis of opioid receptors using monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibodies

    SciTech Connect

    Conroy, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Structural relatedness between the variable region of anti-ligand antibodies and opioid binding sites allowed the generation of anti-idiotypic antibodies which recognized opioid receptors. The IgG{sub 3}k antibodies which bound to opioid receptors were obtained when an anti-morphine antiserum was the idiotype. Both antibodies bound to opioid receptors, but only one of these blocked the binding of ({sup 3}H)naloxone. The antibody which did not inhibit the binding of ({sup 3}H)naloxone was itself displaced from the receptor by opioid ligands. The unique binding properties displayed by this antibody indicated that anti-idiotypic antibodies are not always a perfect image of the original ligand, and therefore may be more useful than typical ligands as probes for the receptor. An auto-anti-idiotypic technique was successfully used to obtain anti-opioid receptor antibodies. Another IgG{sub 3}k antibody that blocked the binding of ({sup 3}H)naloxone to rat brain opioid receptors was obtained when a mouse was immunized with naloxone conjugated to bovine serum albumin. These data confirmed that an idiotype-anti-idiotype network which can generate an anti-receptor antibody normally functions when an opioid ligand is introduced into an animal in an immunogenic form.

  6. A Novel Approach for Effectively Treating SCI Pain, Improving Opioid Efficacy, and Preventing Opioid-Induced Constipation: Key Role of Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    pain ; however, morphine for 7 d post-SCI has little effect on chronic thermal nociceptive thresholds in this model. Establishing effects of post-SCI...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-1-0277 TITLE: A Novel Approach for Effectively Treating SCI Pain , Improving Opioid Efficacy, and Preventing Opioid...SCI Pain , Improving Opioid Efficacy, and Preventing Opioid-Induced Constipation: Key Role of Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b

  7. Direct influence of C-terminally substituted amino acids in the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore on delta-opioid receptor selectivity and antagonism.

    PubMed

    Balboni, Gianfranco; Salvadori, Severo; Guerrini, Remo; Negri, Lucia; Giannini, Elisa; Bryant, Sharon D; Jinsmaa, Yunden; Lazarus, Lawrence H

    2004-07-29

    A series of 17 analogues were developed on the basis of the general formula H-Dmt-Tic-NH-CH(R)-R' (denotes chirality; R = charged, neutral, or aromatic functional group; R' = -OH or -NH(2)). These compounds were designed to test the following hypothesis: the physicochemical properties of third-residue substitutions C-terminal to Tic in the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore modify delta-opioid receptor selectivity and delta-opioid receptor antagonism through enhanced interactions with the mu-opioid receptor. The data substantiate the following conclusions: (i) all compounds had high receptor affinity [K(i)(delta) = 0.034-1.1 nM], while that for the mu-opioid receptor fluctuated by orders of magnitude [K(i)(mu) = 15.1-3966 nM]; (ii) delta-opioid receptor selectivity [K(i)(mu)/K(i)(delta)] declined 1000-fold from 22,600 to 21; (iii) a C-terminal carboxyl group enhanced selectivity but only as a consequence of the specific residue; (iv) amidated, positive charged residues [Lys-NH(2) (6), Arg-NH(2) (7)], and a negatively charged aromatic residue [Trp-OH (11)] enhanced mu-opioid affinity [K(i)(mu) = 17.0, 15.1, and 15.7 nM, respectively], while Gly-NH(2) (8), Ser-NH(2) (10), and His-OH (12) were nearly one-tenth as active; and (v) D-isomers exhibited mixed effects on mu-opioid receptor affinity (2' < 3' < 4' < 1' < 5') and decreased delta-selectivity in D-Asp-NH(2) (1') and D-Lys(Ac)-OH (5'). The analogues exhibited delta-opioid receptor antagonism (pA(2) = 6.9-10.07) and weak mu-opioid receptor agonism (IC(50) > 1 microM) except H-Dmt-Tic-Glu-NH(2) (3), which was a partial delta-opioid receptor agonist (IC(50) = 2.5 nM). Thus, these C-terminally extended analogues indicated that an amino acid residue containing a single charge, amino or guanidino functionality, or aromatic group substantially altered the delta-opioid receptor activity profile (selectivity and antagonism) of the Dmt-Tic pharmacophore, which suggests that the C-terminal constituent plays a major role in determining

  8. Functional interaction between alpha2-adrenoceptors, mu- and kappa-opioid receptors in the guinea pig myenteric plexus: effect of chronic desipramine treatment.

    PubMed

    Canciani, Luca; Giaroni, Cristina; Zanetti, Elena; Giuliani, Daniela; Pisani, Rossana; Moro, Elisabetta; Trinchera, Marco; Crema, Francesca; Lecchini, Sergio; Frigo, Gianmario

    2006-12-28

    coupling between receptor activation and downstream intracellular effector systems, possibly independent from inhibitory G(i/o) proteins, may be accounted for the development of supersensitivity to DAMGO. Increased sensitivity to the mu-opioid agonist might compensate for the development of alpha(2A)-adrenoceptor and kappa-opioid receptor subsensitivity. On the whole, the present data further strengthen the concept that, manipulation of alpha(2)-adrenergic inhibitory receptor pathways in the enteric nervous system entails changes in opioid inhibitory receptor pathways, which might be involved in maintaining homeostasis as suggested for mu-opioid, but not for kappa-opioid receptors.

  9. mu-opioid receptor-stimulated synthesis of reactive oxygen species is mediated via phospholipase D2.

    PubMed

    Koch, Thomas; Seifert, Anja; Wu, Dai-Fei; Rankovic, Marija; Kraus, Jürgen; Börner, Christine; Brandenburg, Lars-Ove; Schröder, Helmut; Höllt, Volker

    2009-08-01

    We have recently shown that the activation of the rat mu-opioid receptor (MOPr, also termed MOR1) by the mu-agonist [D-Ala(2), Me Phe(4), Glyol(5)]enkephalin (DAMGO) leads to an increase in phospholipase D2 (PLD2) activity and an induction of receptor endocytosis, whereas the agonist morphine which does not induce opioid receptor endocytosis fails to activate PLD2. We report here that MOPr-mediated activation of PLD2 stimulates production of reactive oxygen molecules via NADH/NADPH oxidase. Oxidative stress was measured with the fluorescent probe dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and the role of PLD2 was assessed by the PLD inhibitor D-erythro-sphingosine (sphinganine) and by PLD2-small interfering RNA transfection. To determine whether NADH/NADPH oxidase contributes to opioid-induced production of reactive oxygen species, mu-agonist-stimulated cells were pre-treated with the flavoprotein inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium, or the specific NADPH oxidase inhibitor, apocynin. Our results demonstrate that receptor-internalizing agonists (like DAMGO, beta-endorphin, methadone, piritramide, fentanyl, sufentanil, and etonitazene) strongly induce NADH/NADPH-mediated ROS synthesis via PLD-dependent signaling pathways, whereas agonists that do not induce MOPr endocytosis and PLD2 activation (like morphine, buprenorphine, hydromorphone, and oxycodone) failed to activate ROS synthesis in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. These findings indicate that the agonist-selective PLD2 activation plays a key role in the regulation of NADH/NADPH-mediated ROS formation by opioids.

  10. Crystal structure of the µ-opioid receptor bound to a morphinan antagonist.

    PubMed

    Manglik, Aashish; Kruse, Andrew C; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Mathiesen, Jesper M; Sunahara, Roger K; Pardo, Leonardo; Weis, William I; Kobilka, Brian K; Granier, Sébastien

    2012-03-21

    Opium is one of the world's oldest drugs, and its derivatives morphine and codeine are among the most used clinical drugs to relieve severe pain. These prototypical opioids produce analgesia as well as many undesirable side effects (sedation, apnoea and dependence) by binding to and activating the G-protein-coupled µ-opioid receptor (µ-OR) in the central nervous system. Here we describe the 2.8 Å crystal structure of the mouse µ-OR in complex with an irreversible morphinan antagonist. Compared to the buried binding pocket observed in most G-protein-coupled receptors published so far, the morphinan ligand binds deeply within a large solvent-exposed pocket. Of particular interest, the µ-OR crystallizes as a two-fold symmetrical dimer through a four-helix bundle motif formed by transmembrane segments 5 and 6. These high-resolution insights into opioid receptor structure will enable the application of structure-based approaches to develop better drugs for the management of pain and addiction.

  11. Crystal structure of the[mu]-opioid receptor bound to a morphinan antagonist

    SciTech Connect

    Manglik, Aashish; Kruse, Andrew C.; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Mathiesen, Jesper M.; Sunahara, Roger K.; Pardo, Leonardo; Weis, William I.; Kobilka, Brian K.; Granier, Sébastien

    2012-06-27

    Opium is one of the world's oldest drugs, and its derivatives morphine and codeine are among the most used clinical drugs to relieve severe pain. These prototypical opioids produce analgesia as well as many undesirable side effects (sedation, apnoea and dependence) by binding to and activating the G-protein-coupled {mu}-opioid receptor ({mu}-OR) in the central nervous system. Here we describe the 2.8 {angstrom} crystal structure of the mouse {mu}-OR in complex with an irreversible morphinan antagonist. Compared to the buried binding pocket observed in most G-protein-coupled receptors published so far, the morphinan ligand binds deeply within a large solvent-exposed pocket. Of particular interest, the {mu}-OR crystallizes as a two-fold symmetrical dimer through a four-helix bundle motif formed by transmembrane segments 5 and 6. These high-resolution insights into opioid receptor structure will enable the application of structure-based approaches to develop better drugs for the management of pain and addiction.

  12. δ-Opioid receptor agonists inhibit migraine-related hyperalgesia, aversive state and cortical spreading depression in mice

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Amynah A; Smith, Monique L; Zyuzin, Jekaterina; Charles, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Migraine is an extraordinarily common brain disorder for which treatment options continue to be limited. Agonists that activate the δ-opioid receptor may be promising for the treatment of migraine as they are highly effective for the treatment of chronic rather than acute pain, do not induce hyperalgesia, have low abuse potential and have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of δ-opioid receptor agonists for migraine by characterizing their effects in mouse migraine models. Experimental Approach Mechanical hypersensitivity was assessed in mice treated with acute and chronic doses of nitroglycerin (NTG), a known human migraine trigger. Conditioned place aversion to NTG was also measured as a model of migraine-associated negative affect. In addition, we assessed evoked cortical spreading depression (CSD), an established model of migraine aura, in a thinned skull preparation. Key Results NTG evoked acute and chronic mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in mice, as well as conditioned place aversion. Three different δ-opioid receptor agonists, SNC80, ARM390 and JNJ20788560, significantly reduced NTG-evoked hyperalgesia. SNC80 also abolished NTG-induced conditioned place aversion, suggesting that δ-opioid receptor activation may also alleviate the negative emotional state associated with migraine. We also found that SNC80 significantly attenuated CSD, a model that is considered predictive of migraine preventive therapies. Conclusions and Implications These data show that δ-opioid receptor agonists modulate multiple basic mechanisms associated with migraine, indicating that δ-opioid receptors are a promising therapeutic target for this disorder. PMID:24467301

  13. Morphinans and isoquinolines: acetylcholinesterase inhibition, pharmacophore modeling, and interaction with opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Daniela; Spetea, Mariana; Music, Melisa; Rief, Silvia; Fink, Monika; Kirchmair, Johannes; Schütz, Johannes; Wolber, Gerhard; Langer, Thierry; Stuppner, Hermann; Schmidhammer, Helmut; Rollinger, Judith M

    2010-07-15

    Following indications from pharmacophore-based virtual screening of natural product databases, morphinan and isoquinoline compounds were tested in vitro for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition. After the first screen, active and inactive compounds were used to build a ligand-based pharmacophore model in order to prioritize compounds for biological testing. Among the virtual hits tested, the enrichment of actives was significantly higher than in a random selection of test compounds. The most active compounds were biochemically tested for their activity on mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors.

  14. Synthesis of novel triplets with a 1,3,5-trioxazatriquinane skeleton and their pharmacologies for opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Nagase, Hiroshi; Kutsumura, Noriki

    2015-06-01

    We designed and synthesized novel triplet molecules with 1,3,5-trioxazatriquinane skeletons. One class comprises double-capped triplets with a morphinan skeleton; the other class comprises simple phenol derivatives with phenethylamine moieties. One compound with m-phenolic hydroxyl group, called SYK-146, is a highly selective, potent agonist for the κ receptor, with activity nearly equivalent to that of U-50488H. The o-phenolic isomer of SYK-146, called SYK-524, showed potent but non-selective agonistic activity for the opioid receptors. We also added several simple phenol derivatives to a library of compounds that target opioid receptors, and they showed high hit rates for the receptor. This library might also be expected to show high hit rates for other receptors.

  15. The mu (μ) and delta (δ) opioid receptors modulate boar sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Vicente-Carrillo, Alejandro; Álvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel; Rodríguez-Martínez, Heriberto

    2016-08-01

    Endogenous and exogenous opioids modulate reproductive functions in target cells via opioid receptors (μ, δ, and κ). Sperm motility is a metric of gamete functionality, and serves as a suitable parameter for in vitro drug-induced toxicity assays. This study identifies the presence and location of opioid receptors in pig spermatozoa as well as their functional response after in vitro challenge with known agonists (morphine [μ]; [D-Pen 2,5]-enkephanile [δ]; and U 50488 [κ]) and antagonists (naloxone [μ]; naltrindole [δ]; and nor-binaltrorphimine [κ]). Only the μ- and δ-opioid receptors were present in the boar sperm plasma membrane, overlying the acrosome, neck, and principal piece. Challenge experiments with agonists and antagonists identified both μ- and δ-opioid receptors as regulators of sperm kinematics, wherein μ maintains or increases sperm movement whereas δ decreases sperm motility over time. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 724-734, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Opioid receptors from a lower vertebrate (Catostomus commersoni): Sequence, pharmacology, coupling to a G-protein-gated inward-rectifying potassium channel (GIRK1), and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Darlison, Mark G.; Greten, Florian R.; Harvey, Robert J.; Kreienkamp, Hans-Jürgen; Stühmer, Thorsten; Zwiers, Henk; Lederis, Karl; Richter, Dietmar

    1997-01-01

    The molecular evolution of the opioid receptor family has been studied by isolating cDNAs that encode six distinct opioid receptor-like proteins from a lower vertebrate, the teleost fish Catostomus commersoni. One of these, which has been obtained in full-length form, encodes a 383-amino acid protein that exhibits greatest sequence similarity to mammalian μ-opioid receptors; the corresponding gene is expressed predominantly in brain and pituitary. Transfection of the teleost cDNA into HEK 293 cells resulted in the appearance of a receptor having high affinity for the μ-selective agonist [d-Ala2, MePhe4-Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAMGO) (Kd = 0.63 ± 0.15 nM) and for the nonselective antagonist naloxone (Kd = 3.1 ± 1.3 nM). The receptor had negligible affinity for U50488 and [d-Pen2, d-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE), which are κ- and δ-opioid receptor selective agonists, respectively. Stimulation of transfected cells with 1 μM DAMGO lowered forskolin-induced cAMP levels, an effect that could be reversed by naloxone. Experiments in Xenopus oocytes have demonstrated that the fish opioid receptor can, in an agonist-dependent fashion, activate a coexpressed mouse G-protein-gated inward-rectifying potassium channel (GIRK1). The identification of six distinct fish opioid receptor-like proteins suggests that additional mammalian opioid receptors remain to be identified at the molecular level. Furthermore, our data indicate that the μ-opioid receptor arose very early in evolution, perhaps before the appearance of vertebrates, and that the pharmacological and functional properties of this receptor have been conserved over a period of ≈400 million years implying that it fulfills an important physiological role. PMID:9223341

  17. Opioid-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in rat enteric neurons following chronic morphine treatment.

    PubMed

    Duraffourd, Celine; Kumala, Erica; Anselmi, Laura; Brecha, Nicholas C; Sternini, Catia

    2014-01-01

    Opioids, acting at μ opioid receptors, are commonly used for pain management. Chronic opioid treatment induces cellular adaptations, which trigger long-term side effects, including constipation mediated by enteric neurons. We tested the hypothesis that chronic opioid treatment induces alterations of μ opioid receptor signaling in enteric neurons, which are likely to serve as mechanisms underlying opioid-induced constipation. In cultured rat enteric neurons, either untreated (naïve) or exposed to morphine for 4 days (chronic), we compared the effect of morphine and DAMGO (D-Ala2,MePhe4,Gly-ol5 enkephalin) on μ opioid receptor internalization and downstream signaling by examining the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (MAPK/ERK) pathway, cAMP accumulation and transcription factor cAMP Response Element-Binding protein (CREB) expression. μ opioid receptor internalization and MAPK/ERK phosphorylation were induced by DAMGO, but not morphine in naïve neurons, and by both opioids in chronic neurons. MAPK/ERK activation was prevented by the receptor antagonist naloxone, by blocking receptor trafficking with hypertonic sucrose, dynamin inhibitor, or neuronal transfection with mutated dynamin, and by MAPK inhibitor. Morphine and DAMGO inhibited cAMP in naïve and chronic enteric neurons, and induced desensitization of cAMP signaling. Chronic morphine treatment suppressed desensitization of cAMP and MAPK signaling, increased CREB phosphorylation through a MAPK/ERK pathway and induced delays of gastrointestinal transit, which was prevented by MAPK/ERK blockade. This study showed that opioids induce endocytosis- and dynamin-dependent MAPK/ERK activation in enteric neurons and that chronic morphine treatment triggers changes at the receptor level and downstream signaling resulting in MAPK/ERK-dependent CREB activation. Blockade of this signaling pathway prevents the development of gastrointestinal motility

  18. Exploration of Bivalent Ligands Targeting Putative Mu Opioid Receptor and Chemokine Receptor CCR5 Dimerization

    PubMed Central

    Arnatt, Christopher K.; Falls, Bethany A.; Yuan, Yunyun; Raborg, Thomas J.; Masvekar, Ruturaj R.; El-Hage, Nazira; Selley, Dana E.; Nicola, Anthony V.; Knapp, Pamela E.; Hauser, Kurt F.; Zhang, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Modern antiretroviral therapies have provided HIV-1 infected patients longer lifespans and better quality of life. However, several neurological complications are now being seen in these patients due to HIV-1 associated injury of neurons by infected microglia and astrocytes. In addition, these effects can be further exacerbated with opiate use and abuse. One possible mechanism for such potentiation effects of opiates is the interaction of the mu opioid receptor (MOR) with the chemokine receptor CCR5 (CCR5), a known HIV-1 co-receptor, to form MOR-CCR5 heterodimer. In an attempt to understand this putative interaction and its relevance to neuroAIDS, we designed and synthesized a series of bivalent ligands targeting the putative CCR5-MOR heterodimer. To understand how these bivalent ligands may interact with the heterodimer, biological studies including calcium mobilization inhibition, binding affinity, HIV-1 invasion, and cell fusion assays were applied. In particular, HIV-1 infection assays using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, macrophages, and astrocytes revealed a notable synergy in activity for one particular bivalent ligand. Further, a molecular model of the putative CCR5-MOR heterodimer was constructed, docked with the bivalent ligand, and molecular dynamics simulations of the complex was performed in a membrane-water system to help understand the biological observation. PMID:27720326

  19. Look before leaping: combined opioids may not be the rave.

    PubMed

    Davis, Mellar P; LeGrand, Susan B; Lagman, Ruth

    2005-10-01

    The use of combinations of potent opioids is a common clinical practice. The addition of one potent opioid to another has been recommended to reduce opioid side effects, improve pain control, and limit dose escalation of the first opioid. The advantages of using combined opioids have been reported to be relative to differences in receptor activation versus endocytosis (RAVE). However, the advantages and detriment to combining opioids are related to naturally occurring opioid receptor dimers. Dimers and oligomers result in a unique opioid pharmacodynamics which influence opioid binding, G protein interactions, desensitization, receptor trafficking, and endocytosis. The pharmacodynamics of dimers may lead to positive or negative cooperativity when two opioids are combined. The use of multiple opioids in practice can lead to increased risk for dosing errors, reduced patient compliance, increased drug interactions and cost. Opioid combinations should not be used until prospective randomized trials clarify the benefits and safety.

  20. delta- and mu-opioid receptor mobilization of intracellular calcium in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed Central

    Connor, M.; Henderson, G.

    1996-01-01

    1. In this study we have investigated delta and mu opioid receptor-mediated elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y. 2. The Ca(2+)-sensitive dye, fura-2, was used to measure [Ca2+]i in confluent monolayers of SH-SY5Y cells. Neither the delta-opioid agonist, DPDPE ([D-Pen2,5]-enkephalin) nor the mu-opioid agonist, DAMGO (Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-N-Me-Phe-Gly-ol enkephalin) elevated [Ca2+]i when applied alone. However, when either DPDPE or DAMGO was applied in the presence of the cholinoceptor agonist, carbachol (100 nM-1 mM) they evoked an elevation of [Ca2+]i above that caused by carbachol alone. 3. In the presence of 1 microM or 100 microM carbachol, DPDPE elevated [Ca2+]i with an EC50 of 10 nM. The elevation of [Ca2+]i was independent of the concentration of carbachol. The EC50 for DAMGO elevating [Ca2+]i in the presence of 1 microM and 100 microM carbachol was 270 nM and 145 nM respectively. 4. The delta-receptor antagonist, naltrindole (30 nM), blocked the elevations of [Ca2+]i by DPDPE (100 nM) without affecting those caused by DAMGO while the mu-receptor antagonist, CTAP (D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Pen-Thr-NH2) (100 nM-1 microM) blocked the elevations of [Ca2+]i caused by DAMGO (1 microM) without affecting those caused by DPDPE. 5. Block of carbachol activation of muscarinic receptors with atropine (10 microM) abolished the elevation of [Ca2+]i by the opioids. The nicotinic receptor antagonist, mecamylamine (10 microM), did not affect the elevations of [Ca2+]i caused by opioids in the presence of carbachol. 6. Muscarinic receptor activation, not a rise in [Ca2+]i, was required to reveal the opioid response. The Ca2+ channel activator, maitotoxin (3 ng ml-1), also elevated [Ca2+]i but subsequent application of opioid in the presence of maitotoxin caused no further changes in [Ca2+]i. 7. The elevations of [Ca2+]i by DPDPE and DAMGO were abolished by pretreatment of the cells with pertussis toxin (200 ng ml-1, 16 h

  1. Toll like receptor (TLR)-4 as a regulator of peripheral endogenous opioid-mediated analgesia in inflammation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Leukocytes containing opioid peptides locally control inflammatory pain. In the early phase of complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced hind paw inflammation, formyl peptides (derived e.g. from Mycobacterium butyricum) trigger the release of opioid peptides from neutrophils contributing to tonic basal antinociception. In the later phase we hypothesized that toll-like-receptor-(TLR)-4 activation of monocytes/macrophages triggers opioid peptide release and thereby stimulates peripheral opioid-dependent antinociception. Results In Wistar rats with CFA hind paw inflammation in the later inflammatory phase (48–96 h) systemic leukocyte depletion by cyclophosphamide (CTX) or locally injected naloxone (NLX) further decreased mechanical and thermal nociceptive thresholds. In vitro β-endorphin (β-END) content increased during human monocyte differentiation as well as in anti-inflammatory CD14+CD16- or non-classical M2 macrophages. Monocytes expressing TLR4 dose-dependently released β-END after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) dependent on intracellular calcium. Despite TLR4 expression proinflammatory M1 and anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages only secreted opioid peptides in response to ionomycin, a calcium ionophore. Intraplantar injection of LPS as a TLR4 agonist into the inflamed paw elicited an immediate opioid- and dose-dependent antinociception, which was blocked by TAK-242, a small-molecule inhibitor of TLR4, or by peripheral applied NLX. In the later phase LPS lowered mechanical and thermal nociceptive thresholds. Furthermore, local peripheral TLR4 blockade worsened thermal and mechanical nociceptive pain thresholds in CFA inflammation. Conclusion Endogenous opioids from monocytes/macrophages mediate endogenous antinociception in the late phase of inflammation. Peripheral TLR4 stimulation acts as a transient counter-regulatory mechanism for inflammatory pain in vivo, and increases the release of opioid peptides from monocytes in vitro. TLR4

  2. Differential Effect of Membrane Cholesterol Removal on μ- and δ-Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, Erica S.; Clark, Mary J.; Jenkins, Paul M.; Martens, Jeffrey R.; Traynor, John R.

    2009-01-01

    According to the lipid raft theory, the plasma membrane contains small domains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipid, which may serve as platforms to organize membrane proteins. Using methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) to deplete membrane cholesterol, many G protein-coupled receptors have been shown to depend on putative lipid rafts for proper signaling. Here we examine the hypothesis that treatment of HEK293 cells stably expressing FLAG-tagged μ-opioid receptors (HEK FLAG-μ) or δ-opioid receptors (HEK FLAG-δ) with MβCD will reduce opioid receptor signaling to adenylyl cyclase. The ability of the μ-opioid agonist [d-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin to acutely inhibit adenylyl cyclase or to cause sensitization of adenylyl cyclase following chronic treatment was attenuated with MβCD. These effects were due to removal of cholesterol, because replenishment of cholesterol restored [d-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin responses back to control values, and were confirmed in SH-SY5Y cells endogenously expressing μ-opioid receptors. The effects of MβCD may be due to uncoupling of the μ receptor from G proteins but were not because of decreases in receptor number and were not mimicked by cytoskeleton disruption. In contrast to the results in HEK FLAG-μ cells, MβCD treatment of HEK FLAG-δ cells had no effect on acute inhibition or sensitization of adenylyl cyclase by δ-opioid agonists. The differential responses of μ- and δ-opioid agonists to cholesterol depletion suggest that μ-opioid receptors are more dependent on cholesterol for efficient signaling than δ receptors and can be partly explained by localization of μ- but not δ-opioid receptors in cholesterol- and caveolin-enriched membrane domains. PMID:19520863

  3. Co-Expression of GRK2 Reveals a Novel Conformational State of the µ-Opioid Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Nickolls, Sarah A.; Humphreys, Sian; Clark, Mellissa; McMurray, Gordon

    2013-01-01

    Agonists at the µ-opioid receptor are known to produce potent analgesic responses in the clinical setting, therefore, an increased understanding of the molecular interactions of ligands at this receptor could lead to improved analgesics. As historically morphine has been shown to be a poor recruiter of β-arrestin in recombinant cell systems and this can be overcome by the co-expression of GRK2, we investigated the effects of GRK2 co-expression, in a recombinant µ-opioid receptor cell line, on ligand affinity and intrinsic activity in both β-arrestin recruitment and [35S]GTPγS binding assays. We also investigated the effect of receptor depletion in the β-arrestin assay. GRK2 co-expression increased both agonist Emax and potency in the β-arrestin assay. The increase in agonist potency could not be reversed using receptor depletion, supporting that the effects were due to a novel receptor conformation not system amplification. We also observed a small but significant effect on agonist KL values. Potency values in the [35S]GTPγS assay were unchanged; however, inverse agonist activity became evident with GRK2 co-expression. We conclude that this is direct evidence that the µ-opioid receptor is an allosteric protein and the co-expression of signalling molecules elicits changes in its conformation and thus ligand affinity. This has implications when describing how ligands interact with the receptor and how efficacy is determined. PMID:24376730

  4. Opioid Receptor Antagonists in the Treatment of Alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Serecigni, Josep Guardia

    2015-09-29

    Objetivos: A partir de los recientes progresos en la farmacoterapia del alcoholismo, hemos efectuado una revisión sobre los fármacos antagonistas de los receptores opioides, que tienen aprobada la indicación para el tratamiento del alcoholismo, como son naltrexona y nalmefeno. Metodología: Hemos revisado más de 100 publicaciones sobre péptidos y receptores opioides, el efecto de los fármacos antagonistas de los receptores opioides sobre el consumo de alcohol, tanto en animales como en humanos, tanto en el laboratorio como para el tratamiento del alcoholismo. También se describen las características farmacológicas de naltrexona y de nalmefeno y su utilidad en la práctica clínica. Resultados: Múltiples evidencias han demostrado la eficacia de naltrexona y nalmefeno para reducir el consumo de alcohol, tanto en animales de laboratorio como también en personas estudiadas en situación de bar experimental, aunque debido al diferente perfil receptorial, nalmefeno ha sido relacionado con una mayor eficacia para la reducción del consumo de alcohol, en ratas que presentan dependencia del alcohol. Además, un gran número de ensayos clínicos controlados han demostrado la eficacia de naltrexona para la prevención de recaídas, en personas que presentan un trastorno por dependencia del alcohol. Ensayos clínicos controlados recientes han demostrado la eficacia de nalmefeno “a demanda” para reducir el consumo de alcohol, en personas que presentan un trastorno por dependencia del alcohol de baja gravedad. Conclusiones: Tanto naltrexona como nalmefeno han demostrado ser fármacos seguros, bien tolerados, de manejo sencillo, y eficaces para el tratamiento del trastorno por dependencia del alcohol, (actualmente llamado trastorno por consumo de alcohol). A partir de recientes ensayos clínicos controlados se ha comprobado que nalmefeno produce una reducción significativa del consumo de alcohol, lo cual supone un nuevo objetivo que amplía las posibilidades de

  5. Mu opioid receptors are in discrete hippocampal interneuron subpopulations.

    PubMed

    Drake, Carrie T; Milner, Teresa A

    2002-01-01

    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.

  6. A role for the mu opioid receptor in the antidepressant effects of buprenorphine.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Shivon A; Erickson, Rebecca L; Browne, Caroline A; Lucki, Irwin

    2017-02-15

    Buprenorphine (BPN), a mixed opioid drug with high affinity for mu (MOR) and kappa (KOR) opioid receptors, has been shown to produce behavioral responses in rodents that are similar to those of antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs. Although recent studies have identified KORs as a primary mediator of BPN's effects in rodent models of depressive-like behavior, the role of MORs in BPN's behavioral effects has not been as well explored. The current studies investigated the role of MORs in mediating conditioned approach behavior in the novelty-induced hypophagia (NIH) test, a behavioral measure previously shown to be sensitive to chronic treatment with antidepressant drugs. The effects of BPN were evaluated in the NIH test 24h post-administration in mice with genetic deletion of the MOR (Oprm1(-/-)) or KOR (Oprk1(-/-)), or after pharmacological blockade with the non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone and selective MOR antagonist cyprodime. We found that behavioral responses to BPN in the NIH test were blocked in Oprm1(-/-) mice, but not in Oprk1(-/-) mice. Both cyprodime and naltrexone significantly reduced approach latency at doses experimentally proven to antagonize the MOR. In contrast the selective MOR agonist morphine and the selective KOR antagonist nor-BNI were both ineffective. Moreover, antinociceptive studies revealed persistence of the MOR antagonist properties of BPN at 24h post-administration, the period of behavioral reactivity. These data support modulation of MOR activity as a key component of BPN's antidepressant-like effects in the NIH paradigm.

  7. Kappa opioid receptor/dynorphin system: Genetic and pharmacotherapeutic implications for addiction

    PubMed Central

    Butelman, Eduardo R.; Yuferov, Vadim; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2013-01-01

    Addictions to cocaine or heroin/prescription opioids [short-acting mu-opioid receptor (MOPr) agonists] involve relapsing cycles, with experimentation/escalating use, withdrawal/abstinence, and relapse/re-escalation. Kappa-opioid receptors (KOPr; encoded by OPRK1), and their endogenous agonists, the dynorphins (encoded by PDYN) have counter-modulatory effects on reward caused by cocaine or MOPr agonist exposure, and exhibit plasticity in addictive-like states. KOPr/dynorphin activation is implicated in depression/anxiety, often co-morbid with addictions. In this Opinion article, we propose that particular stages of the addiction cycle are differentially affected by KOPr/dynorphin systems. Vulnerability and resilience can be due to pre-existing (e.g., genetic) factors, or epigenetic modifications of the OPRK1 or PDYN genes during the addiction cycle. Pharmacotherapeutic approaches limiting changes in KOPr/dynorphin tone, especially with KOPr partial agonists, may hold potential for the treatment of specific drug addictions and psychiatric co-morbidity. PMID:22709632

  8. Structure of the human κ-opioid receptor in complex with JDTic.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huixian; Wacker, Daniel; Mileni, Mauro; Katritch, Vsevolod; Han, Gye Won; Vardy, Eyal; Liu, Wei; Thompson, Aaron A; Huang, Xi-Ping; Carroll, F Ivy; Mascarella, S Wayne; Westkaemper, Richard B; Mosier, Philip D; Roth, Bryan L; Cherezov, Vadim; Stevens, Raymond C

    2012-03-21

    Opioid receptors mediate the actions of endogenous and exogenous opioids on many physiological processes, including the regulation of pain, respiratory drive, mood, and--in the case of κ-opioid receptor (κ-OR)--dysphoria and psychotomimesis. Here we report the crystal structure of the human κ-OR in complex with the selective antagonist JDTic, arranged in parallel dimers, at 2.9 Å resolution. The structure reveals important features of the ligand-binding pocket that contribute to the high affinity and subtype selectivity of JDTic for the human κ-OR. Modelling of other important κ-OR-selective ligands, including the morphinan-derived antagonists norbinaltorphimine and 5'-guanidinonaltrindole, and the diterpene agonist salvinorin A analogue RB-64, reveals both common and distinct features for binding these diverse chemotypes. Analysis of site-directed mutagenesis and ligand structure-activity relationships confirms the interactions observed in the crystal structure, thereby providing a molecular explanation for κ-OR subtype selectivity, and essential insights for the design of compounds with new pharmacological properties targeting the human κ-OR.

  9. Ionic storm in hypoxic/ischemic stress: Can opioid receptors subside it?

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Dongman; Xia, Ying

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in the mammalian central nervous system are extremely vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and blood supply insufficiency. Indeed, hypoxic/ischemic stress triggers multiple pathophysiological changes in the brain, forming the basis of hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy. One of the initial and crucial events induced by hypoxia/ischemia is the disruption of ionic homeostasis characterized by enhanced K+ efflux and Na+-, Ca2+- and Cl− influx, which causes neuronal injury or even death. Recent data from our laboratory and those of others have shown that activation of opioid receptors, particularly δ-opioid receptors (DOR), is neuroprotective against hypoxic/ischemic insult. This protective mechanism may be one of the key factors that determine neuronal survival under hypoxic/ischemic condition. An important aspect of the DOR-mediated neuroprotection is its action against hypoxic/ischemic disruption of ionic homeostasis. Specially, DOR signal inhibits Na+ influx through the membrane and reduces the increase in intracellular Ca2+, thus decreasing the excessive leakage of intracellular K+. Such protection is dependent on a PKC-dependent and PKA-independent signaling pathway. Furthermore, our novel exploration shows that DOR attenuates hypoxic/ischemic disruption of ionic homeostasis through the inhibitory regulation of Na+ channels. In this review, we will first update current information regarding the process and features of hypoxic/ischemic disruption of ionic homeostasis and then discuss the opioid-mediated regulation of ionic homeostasis, especially in hypoxic/ischemic condition, and the underlying mechanisms. PMID:20036308

  10. Structure of the human [kappa]-opioid receptor in complex with JDTic

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Huixian; Wacker, Daniel; Mileni, Mauro; Katritch, Vsevolod; Han, Gye Won; Vardy, Eyal; Liu, Wei; Thompson, Aaron A.; Huang, Xi-Ping; Carroll, F. Ivy; Mascarella, S. Wayne; Westkaemper, Richard B.; Mosier, Philip D.; Roth, Bryan L.; Cherezov, Vadim; Stevens, Raymond C.

    2013-04-25

    Opioid receptors mediate the actions of endogenous and exogenous opioids on many physiological processes, including the regulation of pain, respiratory drive, mood, and - in the case of {kappa}-opioid receptor ({kappa}-OR) - dysphoria and psychotomimesis. Here we report the crystal structure of the human {kappa}-OR in complex with the selective antagonist JDTic, arranged in parallel dimers, at 2.9 {angstrom} resolution. The structure reveals important features of the ligand-binding pocket that contribute to the high affinity and subtype selectivity of JDTic for the human {kappa}-OR. Modelling of other important {kappa}-OR-selective ligands, including the morphinan-derived antagonists norbinaltorphimine and 5'-guanidinonaltrindole, and the diterpene agonist salvinorin A analogue RB-64, reveals both common and distinct features for binding these diverse chemotypes. Analysis of site-directed mutagenesis and ligand structure-activity relationships confirms the interactions observed in the crystal structure, thereby providing a molecular explanation for {kappa}-OR subtype selectivity, and essential insights for the design of compounds with new pharmacological properties targeting the human {kappa}-OR.

  11. Crystal structure of the μ-opioid receptor bound to a morphinan antagonist

    PubMed Central

    Manglik, Aashish; Kruse, Andrew C.; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Mathiesen, Jesper M.; Sunahara, Roger K.; Pardo, Leonardo; Weis, William I.; Kobilka, Brian K.; Granier, Sébastien

    2012-01-01

    Summary Opium is one of the world’s oldest drugs, and its derivatives morphine and codeine are among the most used clinical drugs to relieve severe pain. These prototypical opioids produce analgesia as well as many of their undesirable side effects (sedation, apnea and dependence) by binding to and activating the G-protein-coupled μ-opioid receptor (μOR) in the central nervous system. Here we describe the 2.8 Å crystal structure of the μOR in complex with an irreversible morphinan antagonist. Compared to the buried binding pocket observed in most GPCRs published to date, the morphinan ligand binds deeply within a large solvent-exposed pocket. Of particular interest, the μOR crystallizes as a two-fold symmetric dimer through a four-helix bundle motif formed by transmembrane segments 5 and 6. These high-resolution insights into opioid receptor structure will enable the application of structure-based approaches to develop better drugs for the management of pain and addiction. PMID:22437502

  12. κ-opioid receptor/dynorphin system: genetic and pharmacotherapeutic implications for addiction.

    PubMed

    Butelman, Eduardo R; Yuferov, Vadim; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2012-10-01

    Addictions to cocaine or heroin/prescription opioids [short-acting μ-opioid receptor (MOPr) agonists] involve relapsing cycles, with experimentation/escalating use, withdrawal/abstinence, and relapse/re-escalation. κ-Opioid receptors (KOPr; encoded by OPRK1), and their endogenous agonists, the dynorphins (encoded by PDYN), have counter-modulatory effects on reward caused by cocaine or MOPr agonist exposure, and exhibit plasticity in addictive-like states. KOPr/dynorphin activation is implicated in depression/anxiety, often comorbid with addictions. In this opinion article we propose that particular stages of the addiction cycle are differentially affected by KOPr/dynorphin systems. Vulnerability and resilience can be due to pre-existing (e.g., genetic) factors, or epigenetic modifications of the OPRK1 or PDYN genes during the addiction cycle. Pharmacotherapeutic approaches limiting changes in KOPr/dynorphin tone, especially with KOPr partial agonists, may hold potential for the treatment of specific drug addictions and psychiatric comorbidity.

  13. Identification of a signaling cascade that maintains constitutive delta opioid receptor incompetence in peripheral sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Brackley, Allison Doyle; Sarrami, Shayda; Gomez, Ruben; Guerrero, Kristi A; Jeske, Nathaniel A

    2017-04-05

    Mu opioid receptor (MOR) agonists are often used to treat severe pain, but can result in adverse side effects. To circumvent systemic side effects, targeting peripheral opioid receptors is an attractive alternative treatment for severe pain. Activation of the delta opioid receptor (DOR) produces similar analgesia with reduced side effects. However, until primed by inflammation, peripheral DOR is analgesically incompetent, raising interest in the mechanism. We recently identified a novel role for G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) that renders DOR analgesically incompetent at the plasma membrane. However, the mechanism that maintains constitutive GRK2 association with DOR is unknown. Protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation of GRK2 at Ser685 targets it to the plasma membrane. A-kinase anchoring protein 79/150 (AKAP), residing at the plasma membrane in neurons, scaffolds PKA to target proteins to mediate downstream signal. Therefore, we sought to determine whether GRK2-mediated DOR desensitization is directed by PKA via AKAP scaffolding. Membrane fractions from cultured rat sensory neurons following AKAP siRNA-transfection and from AKAP-knockout mice, had less PKA activity, GRK2 Ser685 phosphorylation, and GRK2 plasma membrane targeting than controls. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that GRK2 Ser685 phosphorylation drives GRK2s association with plasma membrane-associated DOR. Moreover, overexpression studies with AKAP mutants indicated that impaired AKAP-mediated PKA scaffolding significantly reduces DOR-GRK2 association at the plasma membrane and consequently increases DOR activity in sensory neurons without a priming event. These findings suggest that AKAP scaffolds PKA to increase plasma membrane targeting and phosphorylation of GRK2 to maintain DOR analgesic incompetence in peripheral sensory neurons.

  14. Isolation and chemical modification of clerodane diterpenoids from Salvia species as potential agonists at the kappa-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiqiang; Husbands, Stephen M; Mahon, Mary F; Traynor, John R; Rowan, Michael G

    2007-07-01

    The clerodane diterpenoid salvinorin A (1), the main active component of the psychotropic herb Salvia divinorum, has been reported to be a potent agonist at the kappa-opioid receptor. Computer modeling suggested that splendidin (2) from S. splendens, as well as related compounds, might possess similar activities. In the present study, this hypothesis was tested by determination of the binding properties of a series of structural congeners, compounds 2-8, at the mu-, delta-, and kappa-opioid receptors. However, none of these compounds showed significant binding to any of the opioid-receptor subtypes, thus disproving the above hypothesis. The novel compounds 7 and 8 were obtained semi-synthetically by selective modification of salvifarin (5), isolated from Salvia farinacea, upon epoxide-ring opening with AcOH in the presence of indium(III) triflate. Also, the X-ray crystal structure of salvifaricin (6; Fig.), obtained from S. farinacea, was determined for the first time and used, in combination with in-depth NMR experiments, to elucidate the absolute configurations of the new products. Our experiments demonstrate that the relatively well-accessible diterpenoid 6 could be used as starting material for future studies into the structure-activity relationship at the kappa-opioid receptor.

  15. THE ROLE OF AMYGDALAR MU OPIOID RECEPTORS IN ANXIETY-RELATED RESPONSES IN TWO RAT MODELS

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Marlene A.; Junor, Lorain

    2009-01-01

    Amygdala opioids such as enkephalin appear to play some role in the control of anxiety and the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines, although the opioid receptor subtypes mediating such effects are unclear. This study compared the influences of mu opioid receptor (MOR) activation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) on unconditioned fear or anxiety-like responses in two models, the elevated plus maze and the defensive burying test. The role of MOR in the anxiolytic actions of the benzodiazepine agonist diazepam was also examined using both models. Either the MOR agonist [D-Ala2, NMe-Phe4, Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO) or the MOR antagonists Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 (CTAP) or β-funaltrexamine (FNA) were bilaterally infused into the CEA of rats prior to testing. The results show that microinjection of DAMGO in the CEA decreased open arm time in the plus maze, while CTAP increased open arm behaviors. In contrast, DAMGO injections in the CEA reduced burying behaviors and increased rearing following exposure to a predator odor, suggesting a shift in the behavioral response in this context. Amygdala injections of the MOR agonist DAMGO or the MOR antagonist CTAP failed to change the anxiolytic effects of diazepam in either test. Our results demonstrate that MOR activation in the central amygdala exerts distinctive effects in two different models of unconditioned fear or anxiety-like responses, and suggest that opioids may exert context-specific regulation of amygdala output circuits and behavioral responses during exposure to potential threats (open arms of the maze) versus discrete threats (predator odor). PMID:18216773

  16. AM-251 and rimonabant act as direct antagonists at mu-opioid receptors: implications for opioid/cannabinoid interaction studies.

    PubMed

    Seely, Kathryn A; Brents, Lisa K; Franks, Lirit N; Rajasekaran, Maheswari; Zimmerman, Sarah M; Fantegrossi, William E; Prather, Paul L

    2012-10-01

    Mu-opioid and CB1-cannabinoid agonists produce analgesia; however, adverse effects limit use of drugs in both classes. Additive or synergistic effects resulting from concurrent administration of low doses of mu- and CB1-agonists may produce analgesia with fewer side effects. Synergism potentially results from interaction between mu-opioid receptors (MORs) and CB1 receptors (CB1Rs). AM-251 and rimonabant are CB1R antagonist/inverse agonists employed to validate opioid-cannabinoid interactions, presumed to act selectively at CB1Rs. Therefore, the potential for direct action of these antagonists at MORs is rarely considered. This study determined if AM-251 and/or rimonabant directly bind and modulate the function of MORs. Surprisingly, AM-251 and rimonabant, but not a third CB1R inverse agonist AM-281, bind with mid-nanomolar affinity to human MORs with a rank order of affinity (K(i)) of AM-251 (251 nM) > rimonabant (652 nM) > AM281 (2135 nM). AM-251 and rimonabant, but not AM-281, also competitively antagonize morphine induced G-protein activation in CHO-hMOR cell homogenates (K(b) = 719 or 1310 nM, respectively). AM-251 and rimonabant block morphine inhibition of cAMP production, while only AM-251 elicits cAMP rebound in CHO-hMOR cells chronically exposed to morphine. AM-251 and rimonabant (10 mg/kg) attenuate morphine analgesia, whereas the same dose of AM-281 produces little effect. Therefore, in addition to high CB1R affinity, AM-251 and rimonabant bind to MORs with mid-nanomolar affinity and at higher doses may affect morphine analgesia via direct antagonism at MORs. Such CB1-independent of these antagonists effects may contribute to reported inconsistencies when CB1/MOR interactions are examined via pharmacological methods in CB1-knockout versus wild-type mice.

  17. The role of the dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system in anxiety.

    PubMed

    Hang, Ai; Wang, Yu-jun; He, Ling; Liu, Jing-gen

    2015-07-01

    Anxiety disorders are the most common and prevalent forms of psychiatric disease, although the biological basis of anxiety is not well understood. The dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system is widely distributed in the central nervous system and has been shown to play a critical role in modulating mood and emotional behaviors. In the present review, we summarize current literature relating to the role played by the dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system in anxiety and κ opioid receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

  18. Synthetic studies of neoclerodane diterpenoids from Salvia splendens and evaluation of Opioid Receptor affinity.

    PubMed

    Fontana, Gianfranco; Savona, Giuseppe; Rodríguez, Benjamín; Dersch, Christina M; Rothman, Richard B; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2008-12-20

    Salvinorin A (1), a neoclerodane diterpene from the hallucinogenic mint Salvia divinorum, is the only known non-nitrogenous and specific kappa-opioid agonist. Several structural congeners of 1 isolated from Salvia splendens (2 - 8) together with a series of semisynthetic derivatives (9 - 24), some of which possess a pyrazoline structural moiety (9, 19 - 22), have been tested for affinity at human mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors. None of these compounds showed high affinity binding to these receptors. However, 10 showed modest affinity for kappa receptors suggesting other naturally neoclerodanes from different Salvia species may possess opioid affinity.

  19. The role of the dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system in anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Ai; Wang, Yu-jun; He, Ling; Liu, Jing-gen

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are the most common and prevalent forms of psychiatric disease, although the biological basis of anxiety is not well understood. The dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system is widely distributed in the central nervous system and has been shown to play a critical role in modulating mood and emotional behaviors. In the present review, we summarize current literature relating to the role played by the dynorphin/κ opioid receptor system in anxiety and κ opioid receptor antagonists as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of anxiety disorders. PMID:25982631

  20. The atypical antidepressant and neurorestorative agent tianeptine is a μ-opioid receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Gassaway, M M; Rives, M-L; Kruegel, A C; Javitch, J A; Sames, D

    2014-07-15

    Current pharmacological treatments of depression and related disorders suffer from major problems, such as a low rate of response, slow onset of therapeutic effects, loss of efficacy over time and serious side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore new therapeutic approaches that address these issues. Interestingly, the atypical antidepressant tianeptine already meets in part these clinical goals. However, in spite of three decades of basic and clinical investigations, the molecular target of tianeptine, as well as its mechanism of action, remains elusive. Herein, we report the characterization of tianeptine as a μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist. Using radioligand binding and cell-based functional assays, including bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based assays for G-protein activation and cAMP accumulation, we identified tianeptine as an efficacious MOR agonist (K(i Human) of 383±183 nM and EC(50 Human) of 194±70 nM  and EC(50 Mouse) of 641±120 nM for G-protein activation). Tianeptine was also a full δ-opioid receptor (DOR) agonist, although with much lower potency (EC(50 Human) of 37.4±11.2 μM and EC(50 Mouse) of 14.5±6.6  μM for G-protein activation). In contrast, tianeptine was inactive at the κ-opioid receptor (KOR, both human and rat). On the basis of these pharmacological data, we propose that activation of MOR (or dual activation of MOR and DOR) could be the initial molecular event responsible for triggering many of the known acute and chronic effects of this agent, including its antidepressant and anxiolytic actions.

  1. The atypical antidepressant and neurorestorative agent tianeptine is a μ-opioid receptor agonist

    PubMed Central

    Gassaway, M M; Rives, M-L; Kruegel, A C; Javitch, J A; Sames, D

    2014-01-01

    Current pharmacological treatments of depression and related disorders suffer from major problems, such as a low rate of response, slow onset of therapeutic effects, loss of efficacy over time and serious side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore new therapeutic approaches that address these issues. Interestingly, the atypical antidepressant tianeptine already meets in part these clinical goals. However, in spite of three decades of basic and clinical investigations, the molecular target of tianeptine, as well as its mechanism of action, remains elusive. Herein, we report the characterization of tianeptine as a μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist. Using radioligand binding and cell-based functional assays, including bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based assays for G-protein activation and cAMP accumulation, we identified tianeptine as an efficacious MOR agonist (Ki Human of 383±183 nM and EC50 Human of 194±70 nM  and EC50 Mouse of 641±120 nM for G-protein activation). Tianeptine was also a full δ-opioid receptor (DOR) agonist, although with much lower potency (EC50 Human of 37.4±11.2 μM and EC50 Mouse of 14.5±6.6  μM for G-protein activation). In contrast, tianeptine was inactive at the κ-opioid receptor (KOR, both human and rat). On the basis of these pharmacological data, we propose that activation of MOR (or dual activation of MOR and DOR) could be the initial molecular event responsible for triggering many of the known acute and chronic effects of this agent, including its antidepressant and anxiolytic actions. PMID:25026323

  2. A new splice of life for the μ-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Iadarola, Michael J; Sapio, Matthew R; Mannes, Andrew J

    2015-07-01

    μ-Opioid agonists mediate their analgesic effect through GPCRs that are generated via alternate splicing of the Oprm1 transcript. While the majority of μ-opioids interact with receptors comprising the canonical 7 transmembrane (7TM) domain, a recently identified class of μ-opioids appears to require a 6TM domain variant. In this issue of the JCI, Lu and colleagues provide an in vivo proof-of-concept demonstration that a 6TM isoform of the μ-opioid receptor can support functional analgesia in Oprm1-deficent animals. The 6TM isoform was pharmacologically distinct from the canonical 7TM μ-opioid receptor, and 6TM agonists had a reduced side effect profile, which confers a strong therapeutic advantage over standard opioid analgesics. The observations of Lu et al. extend the reach of opioid-receptor neurobiology and pharmacology into a new era of analgesic discovery. This advance emerges from a series of fundamental research analyses in which elements of the endogenous opioid system were frequently in the vanguard.

  3. Contributions of peripheral and central opioid receptors to antinociception in rat muscle pain models.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Eva Ma; Bagües, Ana; Martín, Ma Isabel

    2010-10-01

    Administration of hypertonic saline (HS) is an accepted model to study muscular pain. HS-induced nociceptive responses were tested in masseter, already described, and in two new pain models of spinally innervated muscles (gastrocnemius and triceps) developed in rats at our laboratory. HS administration in the masseter induced vigorous hindpaw shaking and in the gastrocnemius or triceps, paw withdrawal or flexing. Participation of the central and peripheral opioid receptors in HS-induced pain is compared in these muscles: masseter, innervated by trigeminal nerve, and gastrocnemius and triceps by spinal nerves. Morphine and loperamide were used to reveal peripheral and central components of opioid analgesia. Both agonists reduced HS-induced nociceptive behaviours in the masseter and were antagonised by the opioid antagonist naloxone and by naloxone methiodide, an opioid receptor antagonist that poorly penetrates the blood-brain barrier. Unexpectedly, in the gastrocnemius and triceps, morphine, but not loperamide, decreased the nociceptive behaviour and this effect was only reversed by naloxone. So, peripheral opioid receptors seem to participate in HS-induced masseter pain, whereas only central opioid receptors reduced the nociception in gastrocnemius and triceps. Our results suggest that the use of peripheral opioids can be more advantageous than central opioids for treatment of orofacial muscular pain.

  4. Discovery of a novel site of opioid action at the innate immune pattern-recognition receptor TLR4 and its role in addiction.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Jonathan Henry W; Watkins, Linda R; Hutchinson, Mark R

    2014-01-01

    Opioids have historically, and continue to be, an integral component of pain management. However, despite pharmacokinetic and dynamic optimization over the past 100 years, opioids continue to produce many undesirable side effects such as tolerance, reward, and dependence. As such, opioids are liable for addiction. Traditionally, opioid addiction was viewed as a solely neuronal process, and while substantial headway has been made into understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating this process, research has however, been relatively ambivalent to how the rest of the central nervous system (CNS) responds to opioids. Evidence over the past 20 years has clearly demonstrated the importance of the immunocompetent cells of the CNS (glia) in many aspects of opioid pharmacology. Particular focus has been placed on microglia and astrocytes, who in response to opioids, become activated and release inflammatory mediators. Importantly, the mechanism underlying immune activation is beginning to be elucidated. Evidence suggests an innate immune pattern-recognition receptor (toll-like receptor 4) as an integral component underlying opioid-induced glial activation. The subsequent proinflammatory response may be viewed akin to neurotransmission creating a process termed central immune signaling. Translationally, we are beginning to appreciate the importance of central immune signaling as it contributes to many behavioral actions of addiction including reward, withdrawal, and craving. As such, the aim of this chapter is to review and integrate the neuronal and central immune signaling perspective of addiction.

  5. Impact of chronic morphine on delta opioid receptor-expressing neurons in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Erbs, E; Faget, L; Ceredig, R A; Matifas, A; Vonesch, J-L; Kieffer, B L; Massotte, D

    2016-01-28

    Delta opioid (DOP) receptors participate to the control of chronic pain and emotional responses. Recent data also identified their implication in spatial memory and drug-context associations pointing to a critical role of hippocampal delta receptors. To better appreciate the impact of repeated drug exposure on their modulatory activity, we used fluorescent knock-in mice that express a functional delta receptor fused at its carboxy-terminus with the green fluorescent protein in place of the native receptor. We then tested the impact of chronic morphine treatment on the density and distribution of delta receptor-expressing cells in the hippocampus. A decrease in delta receptor-positive cell density was observed in the CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus without alteration of the distribution across the different GABAergic populations that mainly express delta receptors. This effect partly persisted after four weeks of morphine abstinence. In addition, we observed increased DOP receptor expression at the cell surface compared to saline-treated animals. In the hippocampus, chronic morphine administration thus induces DOP receptor cellular redistribution and durably decreases delta receptor-expressing cell density. Such modifications are likely to alter hippocampal physiology, and to contribute to long-term cognitive deficits.

  6. Revolution in GPCR signalling: opioid receptor heteromers as novel therapeutic targets: IUPHAR review 10.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Wakako; Gomes, Ivone; Devi, Lakshmi A

    2014-09-01

    GPCRs can interact with each other to form homomers or heteromers. Homomers involve interactions with the same receptor type while heteromers involve interactions between two different GPCRs. These receptor-receptor interactions modulate not only the binding but also the signalling and trafficking properties of individual receptors. Opioid receptor heteromerization has been extensively investigated with the objective of identifying novel therapeutic targets that are as potent as morphine but without the side effects associated with chronic morphine use. In this context, studies have described heteromerization between the different types of opioid receptors and between opioid receptors and a wide range of GPCRs including adrenoceptors, cannabinoid, 5-HT, metabotropic glutamate and sensory neuron-specific receptors. Recent advances in the field involving the generation of heteromer-specific reagents (antibodies or ligands) or of membrane-permeable peptides that disrupt the heteromer interaction are helping to elucidate the physiological role of opioid receptor heteromers and the contribution of the partner receptor to the side effects associated with opioid use. For example, studies using membrane-permeable peptides targeting the heteromer interface have implicated μ and δ receptor heteromers in the development of tolerance to morphine, and heteromers of μ and gastrin-releasing peptide receptors in morphine-induced itch. In addition, a number of ligands that selectively target opioid receptor heteromers exhibit potent antinociception with a decrease in the side effects commonly associated with morphine use. In this review, we summarize the latest findings regarding the biological and functional characteristics of opioid receptor heteromers both in vitro and in vivo.

  7. Methylphenidate and μ opioid receptor interactions: a pharmacological target for prevention of stimulant abuse.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinmin; Spencer, Thomas J; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan; Biederman, Joseph; Bhide, Pradeep G

    2011-01-01

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is one of the most commonly used and highly effective treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. As the therapeutic use of MPH has increased, so has its abuse and illicit street-use. Yet, the mechanisms associated with development of MPH-associated abuse and dependence are not well understood making it difficult to develop methods to help its mitigation. As a result, many ADHD patients especially children and youth, that could benefit from MPH treatment do not receive it and risk lifelong disabilities associated with untreated ADHD. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms associated with development of MPH addiction and designing methods to prevent it assume high public health significance. Using a mouse model we show that supra-therapeutic doses of MPH produce rewarding effects (surrogate measure for addiction in humans) in a conditioned place preference paradigm and upregulate μ opioid receptor (MOPR) activity in the striatum and nucleus accumbens, brain regions associated with reward circuitry. Co-administration of naltrexone, a non-selective opioid receptor antagonist, prevents MPH-induced MOPR activation and the rewarding effects. The MPH-induced MOPR activation and rewarding effect require activation of the dopamine D1 but not the D2-receptor. These findings identify the MOPR as a potential target for attenuating rewarding effects of MPH and suggest that a formulation that combines naltrexone with MPH could be a useful pharmaceutical approach to alleviate abuse potential of MPH and other stimulants.

  8. In Vitro Opioid Receptor Affinity and in Vivo Behavioral Studies of Nelumbo nucifera Flower

    PubMed Central

    Kumarihamy, Mallika; León, Francisco; Pettaway, Sara; Wilson, Lisa; Lambert, Janet A.; Wang, Mei; Hill, Christopher; McCurdy, Christopher R.; ElSohly, Mahmoud A.; Cutler, Stephen J.; Muhammad, Ilias

    2015-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance Nelumbo nucifera Geartn., known as sacred lotus, has been used traditionally in South East Asia as a traditional medicine for various CNS disorders including stress, fever, depression, insomnia, and cognitive conditions. Aim of the study To investigate the in vitro cannabinoid and opioid receptor binding affinities, and in vivo behavioral actions of Nelumbo flower extracts and to isolate the potential compounds to treat CNS associated disorders. Materials and methods The white and pink flowers of N. nucifera were extracted with 95% EtOH, followed by acid-base partitioning using CHCl3 to give acidic and basic partitions. These partitions were subjected to Centrifugal Preparative TLC (CPTLC) to yield benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline (BTIQ) alkaloids and long chain fatty acids, identified by physical and spectroscopic methods. In addition, EtOH extracts and partitions were analyzed for chemical markers by UHPLC/MS and GC/MS. In vitro neuropharmacological effects were evaluated by cannabinoid (CB1 and CB2) and opioid [delta (δ), kappa (κ), and mu (μ)] competitive radioligand binding and GTPγS functional assays. The in vivo behavioral effect was studied through the use of the mouse tetrad assay at 10, 30, 75 and 100 mg/kg/ip doses that revealed the effect on locomotion, catalepsy, body temperature, and nociception of acidic and basic CHCl3 partitions, fractions, and compounds. Results Three aporphines, nuciferine (1), N-nor-nuciferine (2), asimilobine (3), and five BTIQs, armepavine (4), O-methylcoclaurine (5), N-methylcoclaurine (6), coclaurine (7), neferine (10), and a mixture of linoleic and palmitic acids (LA and PA), were identified and evaluated for cannabinoid and opioid receptor displacement activities. Compounds 5–7 showed binding affinities for the κ opioid receptor with equilibrium dissociation constant (Ki) values of 3.5±0.3, 0.9±0.1, 2.2±0.2 µM, respectively. Compound 10 displayed affinities for δ-and μ- opioid

  9. Species differences in the effects of the κ-opioid receptor antagonist zyklophin

    PubMed Central

    Sirohi, Sunil; Aldrich, Jane V.; Walker, Brendan M.

    2016-01-01

    We have shown that dysregulation of the dynorphin/kappa-opioid receptor (DYN/KOR) system contributes to escalated alcohol self-administration in alcohol dependence and that KOR antagonists with extended durations of action selectively reduce escalated alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent animals. As KOR antagonism has gained widespread attention as a potential therapeutic target to treat alcoholism and multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, we tested the effect of zyklophin (a short-acting KOR antagonist) on escalated alcohol self-administration in rats made alcohol-dependent using intermittent alcohol vapor exposure. Following dependence induction, zyklophin was infused centrally prior to alcohol self-administration sessions and locomotor activity tests during acute withdrawal. Zyklophin did not impact alcohol self-administration or locomotor activity in either exposure condition. To investigate the neurobiological basis of this atypical effect for a KOR antagonist, we utilized a κ-, μ-, and δ-opioid receptor agonist-stimulated GTPyS coupling assay to examine the opioid receptor specificity of zyklophin in the rat brain and mouse brain. In rats, zyklophin did not affect U50488-, DAMGO-, or DADLE-stimulated GTPyS coupling, whereas the prototypical KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (norBNI) attenuated U50488-induced stimulation in the rat brain tissue at concentrations that did not impact μ- and δ-receptor function. To reconcile the discrepancy between the present rat data and published mouse data, comparable GTPyS assays were conducted using mouse brain tissue; zyklophin effects were consistent with KOR antagonism in mice. Moreover, at higher concentrations, zyklophin exhibited agonist properties in rat and mouse brains. These results identify species differences in zyklophin efficacy that, given the rising interest in the development of short-duration KOR antagonists, should provide valuable information for therapeutic development efforts. PMID:26992699

  10. A PTEN-regulated checkpoint regulates surface delivery of delta opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Shiwarski, Daniel J; Tipton, Alycia; Giraldo, Melissa D; Schmidt, Brigitte F; Gold, Michael S; Pradhan, Amynah A; Puthenveedu, Manojkumar A

    2017-03-06

    The delta opioid receptor (δR) is a promising alternate target for pain management, because δR agonists show decreased abuse potential compared to current opioid analgesics that target the mu opioid receptor. A critical limitation in developing δR as an analgesic target, however, is that δR agonists show relatively low efficacy in vivo, requiring the use of high doses that often cause adverse effects such as convulsions. Here we tested whether intracellular retention of δR in sensory neurons contributes to this low δR agonist efficacy in vivo by limiting surface δR expression. Using direct visualization of δR trafficking and localization, we define a phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-regulated checkpoint that retains δR in the Golgi and decreases surface delivery in rat and mice sensory neurons. PTEN inhibition releases δR from this checkpoint and stimulates delivery of exogenous and endogenous δR to the neuronal surface both in vitro and in vivo PTEN inhibition in vivo increases the percentage of TG neurons expressing δR on the surface, and allows efficient δR-mediated antihyperalgesia in mice. Together, we define a critical role for PTEN in regulating the surface delivery and bioavailability of the δR, explain the low efficacy of δR agonists in vivo, and provide evidence that active δR relocation is a viable strategy to increase δR antinociception.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTOpioid analgesics like morphine, which target the mu opioid receptor (μR), have been the mainstay of pain management, but their use is highly limited by adverse effects and their variable efficacy in chronic pain. Identifying alternate analgesic targets is therefore of great significance. While the delta opioid receptor (δR) is an attractive option, a critical limiting factor in developing δR as a target has been the low efficacy of δR agonists. Why δR agonists show low efficacy is still under debate. This study provides mechanistic and functional data that intracellular

  11. The pharmacological basis of opioids

    PubMed Central

    Ghelardini, Carla; Di Cesare Mannelli, Lorenzo; Bianchi, Enrica

    2015-01-01

    Summary An opioid is a chemical that binds to opioid receptors, which are widely distributed in the central and peripheral nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. The different effects elicited by activation of these receptors are due to their specific neuronal and extraneuronal distribution. The painkiller effect of opioids is induced by the synergy of the two events, namely reduction of pain threshold and emotional detachment from pain. The opioid effects transcending analgesia include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation and a strong sense of euphoria. There are opioid-like substances endogenously produced by the body. Naturally occurring peptides, called enkephalins, have opioid-like activities but are not derived from opium and exert opioid-like effects by interacting with opioid receptors on cell membranes. Yet, animals do contain the same morphine precursors and metabolites as opium poppy and are able to synthesize endogenous morphine alkaloid. Experimental and clinical studies show that opioids, at doses comparable to those of endogenous opioids, can activate pronociceptive systems, leading to pain hypersensitivity and short-term tolerance, a phenomenon encountered in postoperative pain management by acute opioid administration. Whether endogenous opioids play a role in the acute pain necessary to the survival of the individual, remains an open question. PMID:26811699

  12. It still hurts: altered endogenous opioid activity in the brain during social rejection and acceptance in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Hsu, D T; Sanford, B J; Meyers, K K; Love, T M; Hazlett, K E; Walker, S J; Mickey, B J; Koeppe, R A; Langenecker, S A; Zubieta, J-K

    2015-02-01

    The μ-opioid receptor (MOR) system, well known for dampening physical pain, is also hypothesized to dampen 'social pain.' We used positron emission tomography scanning with the selective MOR radioligand [(11)C]carfentanil to test the hypothesis that MOR system activation (reflecting endogenous opioid release) in response to social rejection and acceptance is altered in medication-free patients diagnosed with current major depressive disorder (MDD, n=17) compared with healthy controls (HCs, n=18). During rejection, MDD patients showed reduced endogenous opioid release in brain regions regulating stress, mood and motivation, and slower emotional recovery compared with HCs. During acceptance, only HCs showed increased social motivation, which was positively correlated with endogenous opioid release in the nucleus accumbens, a reward structure. Altered endogenous opioid activity in MDD may hinder emotional recovery from negative social interactions and decrease pleasure derived from positive interactions. Both effects may reinforce depression, trigger relapse and contribute to poor treatment outcomes.

  13. MicroRNA 339 down-regulates μ-opioid receptor at the post-transcriptional level in response to opioid treatment

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qifang; Hwang, Cheol Kyu; Zheng, Hui; Wagley, Yadav; Lin, Hong-Yiou; Kim, Do Kyung; Law, Ping-Yee; Loh, Horace H.; Wei, Li-Na

    2013-01-01

    μ-Opioid receptor (MOR) level is directly related to the function of opioid drugs, such as morphine and fentanyl. Although agonist treatment generally does not affect transcription of mor, previous studies suggest that morphine can affect the translation efficiency of MOR transcript via microRNAs (miRNAs). On the basis of miRNA microarray analyses of the hippocampal total RNA isolated from mice chronically treated with μ-opioid agonists, we found a miRNA (miR-339-3p) that was consistently and specifically increased by morphine (2-fold) and by fentanyl (3.8-fold). miR-339-3p bound to the MOR 3′-UTR and specifically suppressed reporter activity. Suppression was blunted by adding miR-339-3p inhibitor or mutating the miR-339-3p target site. In cells endogenously expressing MOR, miR-339-3p inhibited the production of MOR protein by destabilizing MOR mRNA. Up-regulation of miR-339-3p by fentanyl (EC50=0.75 nM) resulted from an increase in primary miRNA transcript. Mapping of the miR-339-3p primary RNA and its promoter revealed that the primary miR-339-3p was embedded in a noncoding 3′-UTR region of an unknown host gene and was coregulated by the host promoter. The identified promoter was activated by opioid agonist treatment (10 nM fentanyl or 10 μM morphine), a specific effect blocked by the opioid antagonist naloxone (10 μM). Taken together, these results suggest that miR-339-3p may serve as a negative feedback modulator of MOR signals by regulating intracellular MOR biosynthesis.—Wu, Q., Hwang, C. K., Zheng, H., Wagley, Y., Lin, H.-Y., Kim, D. K., Law, P.-Y., Loh, H. H., Wei, L.-N. MicroRNA 339 downregulates mu opioid receptor at the post-transcriptional level in response to opioid treatment. PMID:23085997

  14. [Dmt(1)]DALDA analogues with enhanced μ opioid agonist potency and with a mixed μ/κ opioid activity profile.

    PubMed

    Bai, Longxiang; Li, Ziyuan; Chen, Jiajia; Chung, Nga N; Wilkes, Brian C; Li, Tingyou; Schiller, Peter W

    2014-04-01

    Analogues of [Dmt(1)]DALDA (H-Dmt-d-Arg-Phe-Lys-NH2; Dmt=2',6'-dimethyltyrosine), a potent μ opioid agonist peptide with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant activity, were prepared by replacing Phe(3) with various 2',6'-dialkylated Phe analogues, including 2',6'-dimethylphenylalanine (Dmp), 2',4',6'-trimethylphenylalanine (Tmp), 2'-isopropyl-6'-methylphenylalanine (Imp) and 2'-ethyl-6'-methylphenylalanine (Emp), or with the bulky amino acids 3'-(1-naphthyl)alanine (1-Nal), 3'-(2-naphthyl)alanine (2-Nal) or Trp. Several compounds showed significantly increased μ agonist potency, retained μ receptor selectivity and are of interest as drug candidates for neuropathic pain treatment. Surprisingly, the Dmp(3)-, Imp(3)-, Emp(3)- and 1-Nal(3)-containing analogues showed much increased κ receptor binding affinity and had mixed μ/κ properties. In these cases, molecular dynamics studies indicated conformational preorganization of the unbound peptide ligands due to rotational restriction around the C(β)C(γ) bond of the Xxx(3) residue, in correlation with the observed κ receptor binding enhancement. Compounds with a mixed μ/κ opioid activity profile are known to have therapeutic potential for treatment of cocaine abuse.

  15. Kinetic study of N-type calcium current modulation by delta-opioid receptor activation in the mammalian cell line NG108-15.

    PubMed Central

    Toselli, M; Tosetti, P; Taglietti, V

    1999-01-01

    The voltage-dependent inhibition of N-type Ca2+ channel current by the delta-opioid agonist [D-pen2, D-pen5]-enkephalin (DPDPE) was investigated in the mammalian cell line NG108-15 with 10 microM nifedipine to block L-type channels, with whole-cell voltage clamp methods. In in vitro differentiated NG108-15 cells DPDPE reversibly decreased omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive Ba2+ currents in a concentration-dependent way. Inhibition was maximal with 1 microM DPDPE (66% at 0 mV) and was characterized by a slowing of Ba2+ current activation at low test potentials. Both inhibition and kinetic slowing were attenuated at more positive potentials and could be relieved up to 90% by strong conditioning depolarizations. The kinetics of removal of inhibition (de-inhibition) and of its retrieval (re-inhibition) were also voltage dependent. Both de-inhibition and re-inhibition were single exponentials and, in the voltage range from -20 to +10 mV, had significantly different time constants at a given membrane potential, the time course of re-inhibition being faster than that of de-inhibition. The kinetics of de-inhibition at -20 mV and of reinhibition at -40 mV were also concentration dependent, both processes becoming slower at lower agonist concentrations. The rate of de-inhibition at +80/+120 mV was similar to that of Ca2+ channel activation at the same potentials measured during application of DPDPE (approximately 7 ms), both processes being much slower than channel activation in controls (<1 ms). Moreover, the amplitude but not the time course of tail currents changed as the depolarization to +80/+120 mV was made longer. The state-dependent properties of DPDPE Ca2+ channel inhibition could be simulated by a model that assumes that inhibition by DPDPE results from voltage- and concentration-dependent binding of an inhibitory molecule to the N-type channel. PMID:10233071

  16. Characterization of methadone as a β-arrestin-biased μ-opioid receptor agonist

    PubMed Central

    Doi, Seira; Mori, Tomohisa; Uzawa, Naoki; Arima, Takamichi; Takahashi, Tomoyuki; Uchida, Masashi; Yawata, Ayaka; Narita, Michiko; Uezono, Yasuhito; Suzuki, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    Background Methadone is a unique µ-opioid receptor agonist. Although several researchers have insisted that the pharmacological effects of methadone are mediated through the blockade of NMDA receptor, the underlying mechanism by which methadone exerts its distinct pharmacological effects compared to those of other µ-opioid receptor agonists is still controversial. In the present study, we further investigated the pharmacological profile of methadone compared to those of fentanyl and morphine as measured mainly by the discriminative stimulus effect and in vitro assays for NMDA receptor binding, µ-opioid receptor-internalization, and µ-opioid receptor-mediated β-arrestin recruitment. Results We found that fentanyl substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of methadone, whereas a relatively high dose of morphine was required to substitute for the discriminative stimulus effects of methadone in rats. Under these conditions, the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 did not substitute for the discriminative stimulus effects of methadone. In association with its discriminative stimulus effect, methadone failed to displace the receptor binding of MK801 using mouse brain membrane. Methadone and fentanyl, but not morphine, induced potent µ-opioid receptor internalization accompanied by the strong recruitment of β-arrestin-2 in µ-opioid receptor-overexpressing cells. Conclusions These results suggest that methadone may, at least partly, produce its pharmacological effect as a β-arrestin-biased µ-opioid receptor agonist, similar to fentanyl, and NMDA receptor blockade is not the main contributor to the pharmacological profile of methadone. PMID:27317580

  17. INTERACTION BETWEEN DELTA OPIOID RECEPTORS AND BENZODIAZEPINES IN CO2- INDUCED RESPIRATORY RESPONSES IN MICE

    PubMed Central

    Borkowski, Anne H.; Barnes, Dylan C.; Blanchette, Derek R.; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Klein, Donald F.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2011-01-01

    The false-suffocation hypothesis of panic disorder (Klein, 1993) suggested δ-opioid receptors as a possible source of the respiratory dysfunction manifested in panic attacks occurring in panic disorder (Preter and Klein, 2008). This study sought to determine if a lack of δ-opioid receptors in a mouse model affects respiratory response to elevated CO2, and whether the response is modulated by benzodiazepines, which are widely used to treat panic disorder. In a whole-body plethysmograph, respiratory responses to 5% CO2 were compared between δ-opioid receptor knockout mice and wild-type mice after saline, diazepam (1 mg/kg), and alprazolam (0.3 mg/kg) injection. The results show that lack of δ-opioid receptors does not affect normal response to elevated CO2, but does prevent benzodiazepines from modulating that response. Thus, in the presence of benzodiazepine agonists, respiratory responses to elevated CO2 were enhanced in δ-opioid receptor knockout mice compared to wild-type mice. This suggests an interplay between benzodiazepine receptors and δ-opioid receptors in regulating the respiratory effects of elevated CO2, which might be related to CO2 induced panic. PMID:21561601

  18. Formation pathways and opioid activity data for 3-hydroxypyridinium compounds derived from glucuronic acid and opioid peptides by Maillard processes.

    PubMed

    Horvat, Stefica; Roscić, Maja; Lemieux, Carole; Nguyen, Thi M-D; Schiller, Peter W

    2007-07-01

    The kinetics of formation and identity of the reaction products of the glucuronic acid with three representative opioid peptides were investigated in vitro. Peptides were conjugated with glucuronic acid either in solution or under dry-heating conditions. From the incubations performed in solution N-(1-deoxy-D-fructofuranos-1-yluronic acid)-peptide derivatives (Amadori compounds) were isolated, whereas from the dry-heated reactions products containing the 3-hydroxypyridinium moiety at the N-terminal of the peptide chain were obtained. Experiments performed under mild dry-heating conditions (40 degrees C) in model systems based on Leu-enkephalin and glucuronic acid, and in environment of either 40% or 75% relative humidity, revealed that the higher level of humidity promoted a process that enhanced 3-hydroxypyridinium compound generation. The mechanism of 3-hydroxypyridinium formation is discussed. In comparison with their respective parent peptides, the N-(1-deoxy-D-fructofuranosyl-uronic acid) derivatives of the opioid peptides showed three- to 11-fold lower mu- and delta-receptor-binding affinities and agonist potencies in the functional assays, likely as a consequence of the steric bulk introduced at the N-terminal amino group. The further decrease in opioid activity observed with the 3-hydroxypyridinium-containing peptides may be due to the lower pK(a) of the 3-hydroxypyridinium moiety and to delocalization of the positive charge in the pyridinium ring system.

  19. Switching agonist/antagonist properties of opiate alkaloids at the delta opioid receptor using mutations based on the structure of the orphanin FQ receptor.

    PubMed

    Meng, F; Wei, Q; Hoversten, M T; Taylor, L P; Akil, H

    2000-07-21

    In an earlier study, we have demonstrated that by mutating five amino acid residues to those conserved in the opioid receptors, the OFQ receptor could be converted to a functional receptor that bound many opioid alkaloids with nanomolar affinities. Surprisingly, when the reciprocal mutations, Lys-214 --> Ala (TM5), Ile-277 --> Val/His-278 --> Gln/Ile-279 --> Val (TM6), and Ile-304 --> Thr (TM7), are introduced in the delta receptor, neither the individual mutations nor their various combinations significantly reduce the binding affinities of opioid alkaloids tested. However, these mutations cause profound alterations in the functional characteristics of the mutant receptors as measured in guanosine 5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate binding assays. Some agonists become antagonists at some constructs as they lose their ability to activate them. Some alkaloid antagonists are transformed into agonists at other constructs, but their agonistic effects can still be blocked by the peptide antagonist TIPP. Even the delta inverse agonist 7-benzylidenenaltrexone becomes an agonist at the mutant containing both the Ile-277 --> Val/His-278 --> Gln/Ile-279 --> Val and Ile-304 --> Thr mutations. Thus, although the mutated residues are thought to be part of the binding pocket, they are critically involved in the control of the delta receptor activation process. These findings shed light on some of the structural bases of ligand efficacy. They are also compatible with the hypothesis that a ligand may achieve high affinity binding in several different ways, each having different effects on receptor activation.

  20. Sodium modulates opioid receptors through a membrane component different from G-proteins. Demonstration by target size analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ott, S.; Costa, T.; Herz, A.

    1988-07-25

    The target size for opioid receptor binding was studied after manipulations known to affect the interactions between receptor and GTP-binding regulatory proteins (G-proteins). Addition of GTP or its analogs to the binding reaction, exposure of intact cells to pertussis toxin prior to irradiation, or treatment of irradiated membranes with N-ethylmaleimide did not change the target size (approximately equal to 100 kDa) for opioid receptors in NG 108-15 cells and rat brain. These data suggest that the 100-kDa species does not include an active subunit of a G-protein or alternatively that GTP does not promote the dissociation of the receptor-G-protein complex. The presence of Na+ (100 mM) in the radioligand binding assay induced a biphasic decay curve for agonist binding and a flattening of the monoexponential decay curve for a partial agonist. In both cases the effect was explained by an irradiation-induced loss of the low affinity state of the opioid receptor produced by the addition of Na+. This suggests that an allosteric inhibitor that mediates the effect of sodium on the receptor is destroyed at low doses of irradiation, leaving receptors which are no longer regulated by sodium. The effect of Na+ on target size was slightly increased by the simultaneous addition of GTP but was not altered by pertussis toxin treatment. Thus, the sodium unit is distinct from G-proteins and may represent a new component of the opioid receptor complex. Assuming a simple bimolecular model of one Na+ unit/receptor, the size of this inhibitor can be measured as 168 kDa.

  1. Resonance Energy Transfer Relates the Gas-Phase Structure and Pharmacological Activity of Opioid Peptides.

    PubMed

    Kopysov, Vladimir; Boyarkin, Oleg V

    2016-01-11

    Enkephalins are efficient pain-relief drugs that bind to transmembrane opioid receptors. One key structural parameter that governs the pharmacological activity of these opioid peptides and is typically determined from condensed-phase structures is the distance between the aromatic rings of their Tyr and Phe residues. We use resonance energy transfer, detected by a combination of cold ion spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, to estimate the Tyr-Phe spacing for enkephalins in the gas phase. In contrast to the condensed-phase structures, these distances appear to differ substantially in enkephalins with different pharmacological efficiencies, suggesting that gas-phase structures might be a better pharmacophoric metric for ligand peptides.

  2. Quantitative Conformationally Sampled Pharmacophore (CSP) for δ Opioid Ligands: Reevaluation of hydrophobic moieties essential for biological activity

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Denzil; Coop, Andrew; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated several therapeutic applications for δ opioid agonists and antagonists. To exploit the therapeutic potential of δ opioids developing a structural basis for the activity of ligands at the δ opioid receptor is essential. The conformationally sampled pharmacophore (CSP) method (Bernard et al., JACS, 125: 3103–3107, 2003) is extended here to obtain quantitative models of δ opioid ligand efficacy and affinity. Quantification is performed via overlap integrals of the conformational space sampled by ligands with respect to a reference compound. Iterative refinement of the CSP model identified hydrophobic groups other than the traditional phenylalanine residues as important for efficacy and affinity in DSLET and ICI 174,864. The obtained models for a structurally diverse set of peptidic and non-peptidic δ opioid ligands offer good predictions with R2 values > 0.9 and the predicted efficacy for a set of test compounds was consistent with the experimental value. PMID:17367120

  3. Novel approaches for the treatment of psychostimulant and opioid abuse – focus on opioid receptor-based therapies

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Chris P.; Husbands, Steve M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Psychostimulant and opioid addiction are poorly treated. The majority of abstinent users relapse back to drug-taking within a year of abstinence, making ‘anti-relapse’ therapies the focus of much current research. There are two fundamental challenges to developing novel treatments for drug addiction. Firstly, there are 3 key stimuli that precipitate relapse back to drug-taking: stress, presentation of drug-conditioned cue, taking a small dose of drug. The most successful novel treatment would be effective against all 3 stimuli. Secondly, a large number of drug users are poly-drug users: taking more than one drug of abuse at a time. The ideal anti-addiction treatment would therefore be effective against all classes of drugs of abuse. Areas Covered In this review, the authors discuss the clinical need and animal models used to uncover potential novel treatments. There is a very broad range of potential treatment approaches and targets currently being examined as potential anti-relapse therapies. These broadly fit into 2 categories: ‘memory-based’ and ‘receptor-based’ and the authors discuss the key targets here within. Expert opinion Opioid receptors and ligands have been widely studied, and research into how different opioid subtypes affect behaviours related to addiction (reward, dysphoria, motivation) suggests that they are tractable targets as anti-relapse treatments. Regarding opioid ligands as novel ‘anti-relapse’ medications targets - research suggests that a ‘non-selective’ approach to targeting opioid receptors will be the most effective. PMID:25253272

  4. Distinct Mu, Delta, and Kappa Opioid Receptor Mechanisms Underlie Low Sociability and Depressive-Like Behaviors During Heroin Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Pierre-Eric; Ayranci, Gulebru; Chu-Sin-Chung, Paul; Matifas, Audrey; Koebel, Pascale; Filliol, Dominique; Befort, Katia; Ouagazzal, Abdel-Mouttalib; Kieffer, Brigitte L

    2014-01-01

    Addiction is a chronic disorder involving recurring intoxication, withdrawal, and craving episodes. Escaping this vicious cycle requires maintenance of abstinence for extended periods of time and is a true challenge for addicted individuals. The emergence of depressive symptoms, including social withdrawal, is considered a main cause for relapse, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we establish a mouse model of protracted abstinence to heroin, a major abused opiate, where both emotional and working memory deficits unfold. We show that delta and kappa opioid receptor (DOR and KOR, respectively) knockout mice develop either stronger or reduced emotional disruption during heroin abstinence, establishing DOR and KOR activities as protective and vulnerability factors, respectively, that regulate the severity of abstinence. Further, we found that chronic treatment with the antidepressant drug fluoxetine prevents emergence of low sociability, with no impact on the working memory deficit, implicating serotonergic mechanisms predominantly in emotional aspects of abstinence symptoms. Finally, targeting the main serotonergic brain structure, we show that gene knockout of mu opioid receptors (MORs) in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) before heroin exposure abolishes the development of social withdrawal. This is the first result demonstrating that intermittent chronic MOR activation at the level of DRN represents an essential mechanism contributing to low sociability during protracted heroin abstinence. Altogether, our findings reveal crucial and distinct roles for all three opioid receptors in the development of emotional alterations that follow a history of heroin exposure and open the way towards understanding opioid system-mediated serotonin homeostasis in heroin abuse. PMID:24874714

  5. Novel ligands for the opioid receptors: synthesis and structure-activity relationships among 5'-aryl and 5'-heteroaryl 17-cyclopropylmethyl-4,5 alpha-epoxypyrido[2',3':6,7]morphinans.

    PubMed

    Ananthan, Subramaniam; Khare, Naveen K; Saini, Surendra K; Davis, Peg; Dersch, Christina M; Porreca, Frank; Rothman, Richard B

    2003-09-01

    A series of pyridomorphinans possessing an aryl (10a-s) or heteroaryl (11a-h) substituent at the 5'-position of the pyridine ring of 17-cyclopropylmethyl-4,5 alpha-epoxypyrido[2',3':6,7]morphinan was synthesized and evaluated for binding and functional activity at the opioid delta, mu, and kappa receptors. All of these pyridomorphinans bound with higher affinity at the delta site than at mu or kappa sites. The binding data on isomeric compounds revealed that there exists greater bulk tolerance for substituents placed at the o-position of the phenyl ring than at m- or p-positions. Among the ligands examined, the 2-chlorophenyl (10l), 2-nitrophenyl (10n), 2-pyridyl (11a), and 4-quinolinyl (11g) compounds bound to the delta receptor with subnanomolar affinity. Compound 10c with the p-tolyl substituent displayed the highest mu/delta selectivity (ratio=42) whereas compound 10l with the 2-chlorophenyl substituent displayed the highest kappa/delta selectivity (ratio=23). At 10 microM concentration, the in vitro functional activity determined using [(35)S]GTP-gamma-S binding assays showed that all of the compounds were antagonists devoid of any significant agonist activity at the delta, mu, and kappa receptors. Antagonist potency determinations of three selected ligands revealed that the p-tolyl compound 10c is a potent delta selective antagonist. In the [(35)S]GTP-gamma-S assays this compound had a functional antagonist K(i) value of 0.2, 4.52, and 7.62 nM at the delta, mu, and kappa receptors, respectively. In the smooth muscle assays 10c displayed delta antagonist potency with a K(e) value of 0.88 nM. As an antagonist, it was 70-fold more potent at the delta receptors in the MVD than at the mu receptors in the GPI. The in vitro delta antagonist profile of this pyridomorphinan 10c resembles that of the widely used delta selective antagonist ligand naltrindole.

  6. Primary afferent neurons express functional delta opioid receptors in inflamed skin.

    PubMed

    Brederson, Jill-Desiree; Honda, Christopher N

    2015-07-21

    Peripherally-restricted opiate compounds attenuate hyperalgesia in experimental models of inflammatory pain, but have little discernable effect on nociceptive behavior in normal animals. This suggests that activation of opioid receptors on peripheral sensory axons contributes to decreased afferent activity after injury. Previously, we reported that direct application of morphine to cutaneous receptive fields decreased mechanical and heat-evoked responses in a population of C-fiber nociceptors in inflamed skin. Consistent with reported behavioral studies, direct application of morphine had no effect on fiber activity in control skin. The aim of the present study was to determine whether mechanical responsiveness of nociceptors innervating inflamed skin was attenuated by direct activation of delta opioid receptors (DORs) on peripheral terminals. An ex vivo preparation of rat plantar skin and tibial nerve was used to examine effects of a selective DOR agonist, deltorphin II, on responsiveness of single fibers innervating inflamed skin. Electrical recordings were made eighteen hours after injection of complete Freund's adjuvant into the hindpaw. Deltorphin II produced an inhibition of the mechanical responsiveness of single fibers innervating inflamed skin; an effect blocked by the DOR-selective antagonist, naltrindole. The population of units responsive to deltorphin II was identified as consisting of C fiber mechanical nociceptors.

  7. Primary Afferent Neurons Express Functional Delta Opioid Receptors in Inflamed Skin

    PubMed Central

    Brederson, Jill-Desiree; Honda, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    Peripherally-restricted opiate compounds attenuate hyperalgesia in experimental models of inflammatory pain, but have little discernable effect on nociceptive behavior in normal animals. This suggests that activation of opioid receptors on peripheral sensory axons contributes to decreased afferent activity after injury. Previously, we reported that direct application of morphine to cutaneous receptive fields decreased mechanical and heat-evoked responses in a population of C-fiber nociceptors in inflamed skin. Consistent with reported behavioral studies, direct application of morphine had no effect on fiber activity in control skin. The aim of the present study was to determine whether mechanical responsiveness of nociceptors innervating inflamed skin was attenuated by direct activation of delta opioid receptors (DOR) on peripheral terminals. An ex vivo preparation of rat plantar skin and tibial nerve was used to examine effects of a selective DOR agonist, deltorphin II, on responsiveness of single fibers innervating inflamed skin. Electrical recordings were made eighteen hours after injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant into the hindpaw. Deltorphin II produced an inhibition of the mechanical responsiveness of single fibers innervating inflamed skin; an effect blocked by the DOR-selective antagonist, naltrindole. The population of units responsive to deltorphin II was identified as consisting of C fiber mechanical nociceptors. PMID:25911583

  8. kappa opioid receptors in human microglia downregulate human immunodeficiency virus 1 expression.

    PubMed Central

    Chao, C C; Gekker, G; Hu, S; Sheng, W S; Shark, K B; Bu, D F; Archer, S; Bidlack, J M; Peterson, P K

    1996-01-01

    Microglial cells, the resident macrophages of the brain, play an important role in the neuropathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), and recent studies suggest that opioid peptides regulate the function of macrophages from somatic tissues. We report herein the presence of kappa opioid receptors (KORs) in human fetal microglia and inhibition of HIV-1 expression in acutely infected microglial cell cultures treated with KOR ligands. Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and sequencing analyses, we found that mRNA for the KOR was constitutively expressed in microglia and determined that the nucleotide sequence of the open reading frame was identical to that of the human brain KOR gene. The expression of KOR in microglial cells was confirmed by membrane binding of [3H]U69,593, a kappa-selective ligand, and by indirect immunofluorescence. Treatment of microglial cell cultures with U50,488 or U69,593 resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of expression of the monocytotropic HIV-1 SF162 strain. This antiviral effect of the kappa ligands was blocked by the specific KOR antagonist, nor-binaltrophimine. These findings suggest that kappa opioid agonists have immunomodulatory activity in the brain, and that these compounds could have potential in the treatment of HIV-1-associated encephalopathy. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 4 PMID:8755601

  9. Effects of morphine on pentobarbital-induced responses in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Park, Y; Ho, I K; Jang, C G; Tanaka, S; Ma, T; Loh, H H; Ko, K H

    2001-03-15

    Effects of morphine on the potentiation of pentobarbital-induced responses were investigated using mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. The duration of loss of righting reflex, hypothermia, and loss of motor coordination induced by pentobarbital were measured after pretreatment with either morphine or saline. Morphine pretreatment failed to show potentiation of both pentobarbital-induced loss of righting reflex and hypothermia in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, while it significantly potentiated these responses in the wild-type controls. For motor incoordination test, morphine potentiated pentobarbital-induced motor incoordination in the wild-type mice. However, morphine may have opposite effects in the mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. These results demonstrate that synergism between morphine and pentobarbital is not detected in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice and that potentiation of pentobarbital-induced loss of righting reflex and hypothermia by morphine is mediated through mu-opioid receptor. It was interesting to note that pentobarbital-induced decrease in body temperature was less severe in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice than in wild-type mice.

  10. 15 years of genetic approaches in vivo for addiction research: Opioid receptor and peptide gene knockout in mouse models of drug abuse.

    PubMed

    Charbogne, Pauline; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Befort, Katia

    2014-01-01

    The endogenous opioid system is expressed throughout the brain reinforcement circuitry, and plays a major role in reward processing, mood control and the development of addiction. This neuromodulator system is composed of three receptors, mu, delta and kappa, interacting with a family of opioid peptides derived from POMC (β-endorphin), preproenkephalin (pEnk) and preprodynorphin (pDyn) precursors. Knockout mice targeting each gene of the opioid system have been created almost two decades ago. Extending classical pharmacology, these mutant mice represent unique tools to tease apart the specific role of each opioid receptor and peptide in vivo, and a powerful approach to understand how the opioid system modulates behavioral effects of drugs of abuse. The present review summarizes these studies, with a focus on major drugs of abuse including morphine/heroin, cannabinoids, psychostimulants, nicotine or alcohol. Genetic data, altogether, set the mu receptor as the primary target for morphine and heroin. In addition, this receptor is essential to mediate rewarding properties of non-opioid drugs of abuse, with a demonstrated implication of β-endorphin for cocaine and nicotine. Delta receptor activity reduces levels of anxiety and depressive-like behaviors, and facilitates morphine-context association. pEnk is involved in these processes and delta/pEnk signaling likely regulates alcohol intake. The kappa receptor mainly interacts with pDyn peptides to limit drug reward, and mediate dysphoric effects of cannabinoids and nicotine. Kappa/dynorphin activity also increases sensitivity to cocaine reward under stressful conditions. The opioid system remains a prime candidate to develop successful therapies in addicted individuals, and understanding opioid-mediated processes at systems level, through emerging genetic and imaging technologies, represents the next challenging goal and a promising avenue in addiction research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA

  11. Biased agonists of the kappa opioid receptor suppress pain and itch without causing sedation or dysphoria

    PubMed Central

    Brust, Tarsis F.; Morgenweck, Jenny; Kim, Susy A.; Rose, Jamie H.; Locke, Jason L.; Schmid, Cullen L.; Zhou, Lei; Stahl, Edward L.; Cameron, Michael D.; Scarry, Sarah M.; Aubé, Jeffrey; Jones, Sara R.; Martin, Thomas J.; Bohn, Laura M.

    2016-01-01

    Agonists targeting the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) have been promising therapeutic candidates because of their efficacy for treating intractable itch and relieving pain. Unlike typical opioid narcotics, KOR agonists do not produce euphoria or lead to respiratory suppression or overdose. However, they do produce dysphoria and sedation, side effects that have precluded their clinical development as therapeutics. KOR signaling can be fine-tuned to preferentially activate certain pathways over others, such that agonists can bias signaling so that the receptor signals through G proteins rather than other effectors such as βarrestin2. We evaluated a newly developed G protein signaling–biased KOR agonist in preclinical models of pain, pruritis, sedation, dopamine regulation, and dysphoria. We found that triazole 1.1 retained the antinociceptive and antipruritic efficacies of a conventional KOR agonist, yet it did not induce sedation or reductions in dopamine release in mice, nor did it produce dysphoria as determined by intracranial self-stimulation in rats. These data demonstrated that biased agonists may be used to segregate physiological responses downstream of the receptor. Moreover, the findings suggest that biased KOR agonists may present a means to treat pain and intractable itch without the side effects of dysphoria and sedation and with reduced abuse potential. PMID:27899527

  12. Mu and kappa opioid receptors of the periaqueductal gray stimulate and inhibit thermogenesis, respectively, during psychological stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Cristina-Silva, Caroline; Martins, Victor; Gargaglioni, Luciane H; Bícego, Kênia C

    2017-04-04

    The periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is rich in mu and kappa opioid receptors, and this system is involved in thermoregulation, analgesia, and defensive behaviors. No study approached the involvement of the PAG opioids in body temperature (Tb) regulation during psychological stress such as restraint. Because activation of mu and kappa receptors increases and reduces Tb, respectively, we tested the hypothesis that they exert excitatory and inhibitory modulation, respectively, of the restraint-induced fever in rats. To this end, Tb, heat loss index (HLI, inference for peripheral vasoconstriction/vasodilation), and oxygen consumption (inference for thermogenesis) were monitored in unanesthetized rats, restrained or unrestrained, before and after intra-PAG microinjection of the selective mu opioid receptor antagonist (D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2 cyclic, CTAP; 1 and 10 μg/100 nL) or the selective kappa opioid receptor antagonist (nor-binaltorphimine dihydrochloride, nor-BNI; 1 and 4 μg/100 nL) or saline (100 nL). CTAP and nor-BNI did not change the Tb or HLI of euthermic animals. During restraint, Tb increased (1.0 ± 0.1 °C) in all groups; however, this effect was lower in those animals treated with CTAP and higher in animals treated with nor-BNI. The HLI decreased during restraint and increased after animals were released, but this response was not affected by any treatment. Restraint stress increased oxygen consumption (35.9 ± 3.9% elevation), but this response was diminished by CTAP and overstimulated by nor-BNI. Confirming our hypothesis, the results indicate that the mu and kappa opioid receptors in the PAG of rats play a pyrogenic and antipyretic role, respectively, during fever induced by restraint by affecting the thermogenic but not the heat conservation effector.

  13. In silico design of novel probes for the atypical opioid receptor MRGPRX2.

    PubMed

    Lansu, Katherine; Karpiak, Joel; Liu, Jing; Huang, Xi-Ping; McCorvy, John D; Kroeze, Wesley K; Che, Tao; Nagase, Hiroshi; Carroll, Frank I; Jin, Jian; Shoichet, Brian K; Roth, Bryan L

    2017-03-13

    The primate-exclusive MRGPRX2 G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) has been suggested to modulate pain and itch. Despite putative peptide and small-molecule MRGPRX2 agonists, selective nanomolar-potency probes have not yet been reported. To identify a MRGPRX2 probe, we first screened 5,695 small molecules and found that many opioid compounds activated MRGPRX2, including (-)- and (+)-morphine, hydrocodone, sinomenine, dextromethorphan, and the prodynorphin-derived peptides dynorphin A, dynorphin B, and α- and β-neoendorphin. We used these to select for mutagenesis-validated homology models and docked almost 4 million small molecules. From this docking, we predicted ZINC-3573-a potent MRGPRX2-selective agonist, showing little activity against 315 other GPCRs and 97 representative kinases-along with an essentially inactive enantiomer. ZINC-3573 activates endogenous MRGPRX2 in a human mast cell line, inducing degranulation and calcium release. MRGPRX2 is a unique atypical opioid-like receptor important for modulating mast cell degranulation, which can now be specifically modulated with ZINC-3573.

  14. Delta- and kappa-opioid receptors in the caudal midline medulla mediate haemorrhage-evoked hypotension.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Luke A; Keay, Kevin A; Bandler, Richard

    2002-04-16

    In mammals blood loss can trigger, shock, an abrupt, life-threatening hypotension and bradycardia. In the halothane-anaesthetised rat this response is blocked by inactivation of a discrete, vasodepressor area in the caudal midline medulla (CMM). Haemorrhagic shock is blocked also by systemic or ventricular injections of the opioid antagonist, naloxone. This study investigated, in the halothane anaesthetised rat, the contribution of delta-, kappa- and mu-opioid receptors in the CMM vasodepressor region to haemorrhage-evoked shock (i.e. hypotension and bradycardia) and its recovery. It was found that microinjections into the CMM of the delta-opioid receptor antagonist, naltrindole delayed and attenuated the hypotension and bradycardia evoked by haemorrhage, but did not promote recompensation. In contrast, CMM microinjections of the kappa-opioid receptor antagonist, nor-binaltorphamine, although it did not alter haemorrhage-evoked hypotension and bradycardia, did lead to a rapid restoration of AP, but not HR. CMM microinjections of the mu-opioid receptor antagonist, CTAP had no effect on haemorrhage-evoked shock or recompensation. These data indicate that delta- and kappa- (but not mu-) opioid receptor-mediated events within the CMM contribute to the hypotension and bradycardia evoked by haemorrhage and the effectiveness of naloxone in reversing shock.

  15. Inhibition of GABAergic Neurotransmission by HIV-1 Tat and Opioid Treatment in the Striatum Involves μ-Opioid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Changqing; Fitting, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    Due to combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is considered a chronic disease with high prevalence of mild forms of neurocognitive impairments, also referred to as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Although opiate drug use can exacerbate HIV-1 Tat-induced neuronal damage, it remains unknown how and to what extent opioids interact with Tat on the GABAergic system. We conducted whole-cell recordings in mouse striatal slices and examined the effects of HIV-1 Tat in the presence and absence of morphine (1 μM) and damgo (1 μM) on GABAergic neurotransmission. Results indicated a decrease in the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) and miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) by Tat (5–50 nM) in a concentration-dependent manner. The significant Tat-induced decrease in IPSCs was abolished when removing extracellular and/or intracellular calcium. Treatment with morphine or damgo alone significantly decreased the frequency, but not amplitude of IPSCs. Interestingly, morphine but not damgo indicated an additional downregulation of the mean frequency of mIPSCs in combination with Tat. Pretreatment with naloxone (1 μM) and CTAP (1 μM) prevented the Tat-induced decrease in sIPSCs frequency but only naloxone prevented the combined Tat and morphine effect on mIPSCs frequency. Results indicate a Tat- or opioid-induced decrease in GABAergic neurotransmission via μ-opioid receptors with combined Tat and morphine effects involving additional opioid receptor-related mechanisms. Exploring the interactions between Tat and opioids on the GABAergic system may help to guide future research on HAND in the context of opiate drug use. PMID:27877102

  16. Synthesis and characterization of a dual kappa-delta opioid receptor agonist analgesic blocking cocaine reward behavior.

    PubMed

    Váradi, András; Marrone, Gina F; Eans, Shainnel O; Ganno, Michelle L; Subrath, Joan J; Le Rouzic, Valerie; Hunkele, Amanda; Pasternak, Gavril W; McLaughlin, Jay P; Majumdar, Susruta

    2015-11-18

    3-Iodobenzoyl naltrexamine (IBNtxA) is a potent analgesic belonging to the pharmacologically diverse 6β-amidoepoxymorphinan group of opioids. We present the synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of five analogs of IBNtxA. The scaffold of IBNtxA was modified by removing the 14-hydroxy group, incorporating a 7,8 double bond and various N-17 alkyl substituents. The structural modifications resulted in analogs with picomolar affinities for opioid receptors. The lead compound (MP1104) was found to exhibit approximately 15-fold greater antinociceptive potency (ED50 = 0.33 mg/kg) compared with morphine, mediated through the activation of kappa- and delta-opioid receptors. Despite its kappa agonism, this lead derivative did not cause place aversion or preference in mice in a place-conditioning assay, even at doses 3 times the analgesic ED50. However, pretreatment with the lead compound prevented the reward behavior associated with cocaine in a conditioned place preference assay. Together, these results suggest the promise of dual acting kappa- and delta-opioid receptor agonists as analgesics and treatments for cocaine addiction.

  17. Lithium attenuated the behavioral despair induced by acute neurogenic stress through blockade of opioid receptors in mice.

    PubMed

    Khaloo, Pegah; Sadeghi, Banafshe; Ostadhadi, Sattar; Norouzi-Javidan, Abbas; Haj-Mirzaian, Arya; Zolfagharie, Samira; Dehpour, Ahmad-Reza

    2016-10-01

    Major depressive disorder is disease with high rate of morbidity and mortality. Stressful events lead to depression and they can be used as a model of depression in rodents. In this study we aimed to investigate whether lithium modifies the stressed-induced depression through blockade of opioid receptors in mice. We used foot shock stress as stressor and forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and open field test (OFT) to evaluation the behavioral responses in mice. We also used naltrexone hydrochloride (as opioid receptor antagonist), and morphine (as opioid receptor agonist). Our results displayed that foot-shock stress significantly increased the immobility time in TST and FST but it could not change the locomotor behavior in OFT. When we combined the low concentrations of lithium and naltrexone a significant reduction in immobility time was seen in the FST and TST in comparison with control foot-shock stressed group administered saline only. Despite the fact that our data showed low concentrations of lithium, when administered independently did not significantly affect the immobility time. Also our data indicated that concurrent administration of lithium and naltrexone had no effect on open field test. Further we demonstrated that simultaneous administration of morphine and lithium reverses the antidepressant like effect of active doses of lithium. Our data acclaimed that we lithium can augment stressed-induced depression and opioid pathways are involved in this action.

  18. The stereoisomer (+)-naloxone potentiates G-protein coupling and feeding associated with stimulation of mu opioid receptors in the parabrachial nucleus.

    PubMed

    Chaijale, Nayla N; Aloyo, Vincent J; Simansky, Kenny J

    2013-03-01

    Classically, opioids produce their effects by activating Gi-proteins that inhibit adenylate cyclase activity. Previous studies proposed that mu-opioid receptors can also stimulate adenylate cyclase due to an initial transient coupling to Gs-proteins. Treatment with ultra-low doses of the nonselective opioid antagonist (-)-naloxone or its inactive enantiomer (+)-naloxone blocks this excitatory effect and enhances Gi-coupling. Previously we reported that infusion of the mu-opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Glycinol5]-Enkephalin (DAMGO) into the mu-opioid receptor expressing lateral parabrachial nucleus increases feeding. Pretreatment with (-)-naloxone blocks this effect. We used this parabrachial circuit as a model to assess cellular actions of ultra-low doses of (-)-naloxone and (+)-naloxone in modifying the effects of DAMGO. Our results showed that an ultra-low concentration of (-)-naloxone (0.001 nM) and several concentrations of (+)-naloxone (0.01-10 nM) enhanced DAMGO-stimulated guanosine-5'-0-(γ-thio)-triphosphate incorporation in parabrachial sections in vitro. Further, we analyzed the relevance of these effects in vivo. In the present study, we show that (+)-naloxone can potentiate DAMGO-induced feeding at doses at which (-)-naloxone was an antagonist. These results implicated (+)-naloxone as a novel tool for studying mu-opioid receptor functions and suggest that (+)-naloxone may have therapeutic value to enhance clinical actions of opiate drugs.

  19. Synthesis and opioid receptor binding affinities of 2-substituted and 3-aminomorphinans: ligands for mu, kappa, and delta opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Decker, Michael; Si, Yu-Gui; Knapp, Brian I; Bidlack, Jean M; Neumeyer, John L

    2010-01-14

    The phenolic group of the potent mu and kappa opioid morphinan agonist/antagonists cyclorphan and butorphan was replaced by phenylamino and benzylamino groups including compounds with para-substituents in the benzene ring. These compounds are highly potent mu and kappa ligands, e.g., p-methoxyphenylaminocyclorphan showing a K(i) of 0.026 nM at the mu receptor and a K(i) of 0.03 nM at the kappa receptor. Phenyl carbamates and phenylureas were synthesized and investigated. Selective o-formylation of butorphan and levorphanol was achieved. This reaction opened the way to a large set of 2-substituted 3-hydroxymorphinans, including 2-hydroxymethyl-, 2-aminomethyl-, and N-substituted 2-aminomethyl-3-hydroxymorphinans. Bivalent ligands bridged in the 2-position were also synthesized and connected with secondary and tertiary aminomethyl groups, amide bonds, and hydroxymethylene groups, respectively. Although most of the 2-substituted morphinans showed considerably lower affinities compared to their parent compounds, the bivalent ligand approach led to significantly higher affinities compared to the univalent 2-substituted morphinans.

  20. Life-Threatening Opioid Toxicity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-01-01

    receptor is currently the object of much it- "ention. This receptor is postulated to me- diate hallucinations, delusions, and dys- occurring peptides ...teraction with endogenous opioid receptors, peptides have also been shown to function opiate drugs are classified as agonists as neurotransmitters...activity of others; Table 1). function.Ŗ’ 3 Delta sleep-inducing peptide Modulation of opioid receptor activity oc- (DSIP) has also been implicated

  1. Targeting Itch with Ligands Selective for κ Opioid Receptors.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Alan; Kehner, George B; Inan, Saadet

    2015-01-01

    Several chemically diverse pruritogens, including bombesin, compound 48/80, norbinaltorphimine, and 5'-GNTI, cause rodents to scratch excessively in a stable, uniform manner and consequently provide convenient animal models of itch against which potential antipruritics may be evaluated, structure-activity relationships established, and the nature of spontaneous, repetitive behavior itself analyzed. Decreasing the number of scratching bouts in these apparently simple models has been the requisite first step in the progress of kappa opioid agonists such as nalbuphine, asimadoline, and CR845 toward clinical testing as antipruritics. Nalfurafine is the prime example of a kappa agonist spanning the developmental divide between scratching mice models and commercialization within 10 years. Patients undergoing hemodialysis and suffering from the itching associated with uremic pruritus, and potentially those inflicted with atopic dermatitis, are the beneficiaries.

  2. Noribogaine is a G-protein biased κ-opioid receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Maillet, Emeline L; Milon, Nicolas; Heghinian, Mari D; Fishback, James; Schürer, Stephan C; Garamszegi, Nandor; Mash, Deborah C

    2015-12-01

    Noribogaine is the long-lived human metabolite of the anti-addictive substance ibogaine. Noribogaine efficaciously reaches the brain with concentrations up to 20 μM after acute therapeutic dose of 40 mg/kg ibogaine in animals. Noribogaine displays atypical opioid-like components in vivo, anti-addictive effects and potent modulatory properties of the tolerance to opiates for which the mode of action remained uncharacterized thus far. Our binding experiments and computational simulations indicate that noribogaine may bind to the orthosteric morphinan binding site of the opioid receptors. Functional activities of noribogaine at G-protein and non G-protein pathways of the mu and kappa opioid receptors were characterized. Noribogaine was a weak mu antagonist with a functional inhibition constants (Ke) of 20 μM at the G-protein and β-arrestin signaling pathways. Conversely, noribogaine was a G-protein biased kappa agonist 75% as efficacious as dynorphin A at stimulating GDP-GTP exchange (EC50=9 μM) but only 12% as efficacious at recruiting β-arrestin, which could contribute to the lack of dysphoric effects of noribogaine. In turn, noribogaine functionally inhibited dynorphin-induced kappa β-arrestin recruitment and was more potent than its G-protein agonistic activity with an IC50 of 1 μM. This biased agonist/antagonist pharmacology is unique to noribogaine in comparison to various other ligands including ibogaine, 18-MC, nalmefene, and 6'-GNTI. We predict noribogaine to promote certain analgesic effects as well as anti-addictive effects at effective concentrations>1 μM in the brain. Because elevated levels of dynorphins are commonly observed and correlated with anxiety, dysphoric effects, and decreased dopaminergic tone, a therapeutically relevant functional inhibition bias to endogenously released dynorphins by noribogaine might be worthy of consideration for treating anxiety and substance related disorders.

  3. Prospects for Creation of Cardioprotective and Antiarrhythmic Drugs Based on Opioid Receptor Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Maslov, Leonid N; Oeltgen, Peter R.; Naryzhnaya, Natalia V.; Pei, Jian‐Ming; Brown, Stephen A.; Lishmanov, Yury B.; Downey, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract It has now been demonstrated that the μ, δ1, δ2, and κ1 opioid receptor (OR) agonists represent the most promising group of opioids for the creation of drugs enhancing cardiac tolerance to the detrimental effects of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Opioids are able to prevent necrosis and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes during I/R and improve cardiac contractility in the reperfusion period. The OR agonists exert an infarct‐reducing effect with prophylactic administration and prevent reperfusion‐induced cardiomyocyte death when ischemic injury of heart has already occurred; that is, opioids can mimic preconditioning and postconditioning phenomena. Furthermore, opioids are also effective in preventing ischemia‐induced arrhythmias. PMID:27197922

  4. Locus coeruleus kappa-opioid receptors modulate reinstatement of cocaine place preference through a noradrenergic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Al-Hasani, Ream; McCall, Jordan G; Foshage, Audra M; Bruchas, Michael R

    2013-11-01

    Activation of kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) in monoamine circuits results in dysphoria-like behaviors and stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking in both conditioned place preference (CPP) and self-administration models. Noradrenergic (NA) receptor systems have also been implicated in similar behaviors. Dynorphinergic projections terminate within the locus coeruleus (LC), a primary source of norepinephrine in the forebrain, suggesting a possible link between the NA and dynorphin/kappa opioid systems, yet the implications of these putative interactions have not been investigated. We isolated the necessity of KORs in the LC in kappa opioid agonist (U50,488)-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP by blocking KORs in the LC with NorBNI (KOR antagonist). KOR-induced reinstatement was significantly attenuated in mice injected with NorBNI in the LC. To determine the sufficiency of KORs in the LC on U50,488-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP, we virally re-expressed KORs in the LC of KOR knockout mice. We found that KORs expression in the LC alone was sufficient to partially rescue KOR-induced reinstatement. Next we assessed the role of NA signaling in KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP in the presence and absence of a α2-agonist (clonidine), β-adrenergic receptor antagonist (propranolol), and β(1)- and β(2)-antagonist (betaxolol and ICI-118,551 HCl). Both the blockade of postsynaptic β(1)-adrenergic receptors and the activation of presynaptic inhibitory adrenergic autoreceptors selectively potentiated the magnitude of KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP but not cocaine-primed CPP reinstatement. Finally, viral restoration of KORs in the LC together with β-adrenergic receptor blockade did not potentiate KOR-induced reinstatement to cocaine CPP, suggesting that adrenergic receptor interactions occur at KOR-expressing regions external to the LC. These results identify a previously unknown interaction between KORs and NA systems and suggest a NA

  5. Discovery, synthesis, and molecular pharmacology of selective positive allosteric modulators of the δ-opioid receptor.

    PubMed

    Burford, Neil T; Livingston, Kathryn E; Canals, Meritxell; Ryan, Molly R; Budenholzer, Lauren M L; Han, Ying; Shang, Yi; Herbst, John J; O'Connell, Jonathan; Banks, Martyn; Zhang, Litao; Filizola, Marta; Bassoni, Daniel L; Wehrman, Tom S; Christopoulos, Arthur; Traynor, John R; Gerritz, Samuel W; Alt, Andrew

    2015-05-28

    Allosteric modulators of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have a number of potential advantages compared to agonists or antagonists that bind to the orthosteric site of the receptor. These include the potential for receptor selectivity, maintenance of the temporal and spatial fidelity of signaling in vivo, the ceiling effect of the allosteric cooperativity which may prevent overdose issues, and engendering bias by differentially modulating distinct signaling pathways. Here we describe the discovery, synthesis, and molecular pharmacology of δ-opioid receptor-selective positive allosteric modulators (δ PAMs). These δ PAMs increase the affinity and/or efficacy of the orthosteric agonists leu-enkephalin, SNC80 and TAN67, as measured by receptor binding, G protein activation, β-arrestin recruitment, adenylyl cyclase inhibition, and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) activation. As such, these compounds are useful pharmacological tools to probe the molecular pharmacology of the δ receptor and to explore the therapeutic potential of δ PAMs in diseases such as chronic pain and depression.

  6. Naloxegol: the first orally administered, peripherally acting, mu opioid receptor antagonist, approved for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation.

    PubMed

    Corsetti, M; Tack, J

    2015-08-01

    Treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is becoming a relevant clinical challenge as most of the treatments demonstrated to be more effective than placebo in treating OIC have safety issues limiting a broad clinical application. Naloxegol is the first orally administered, peripherally acting, µ opioid receptor antagonist approved by the FDA and EMA specifically for the treatment of noncancer patients with OIC. This review summarizes the results of the studies regarding the effects of naloxegol in OIC. Pharmacodynamic studies have demonstrated that naloxegol was able to inhibit gastrointestinal opioid effects while preserving central analgesic actions. Phase II and phase III studies in patients with noncancer OIC have confirmed the efficacy of naloxegol to inhibit OIC, and the most consistent efficacy was seen with the 25-mg dose once daily. Side effects were mainly gastrointestinal in origin (and usually transient and mild) and there were no signs of opioid withdrawal in the studies. Safety and tolerability were shown in a long-term safety study. Considering its efficacy, safety, route of administration and the limitations of most of the other available treatments, naloxegol has the potential to become the first-line treatment for noncancer patients with OIC.

  7. Ligand-Based Discovery of a New Scaffold for Allosteric Modulation of the μ-Opioid Receptor.

    PubMed

    Bisignano, Paola; Burford, Neil T; Shang, Yi; Marlow, Brennica; Livingston, Kathryn E; Fenton, Abigail M; Rockwell, Kristin; Budenholzer, Lauren; Traynor, John R; Gerritz, Samuel W; Alt, Andrew; Filizola, Marta

    2015-09-28

    With the hope of discovering effective analgesics with fewer side effects, attention has recently shifted to allosteric modulators of the opioid receptors. In the past two years, the first chemotypes of positive or silent allosteric modulators (PAMs or SAMs, respectively) of μ- and δ-opioid receptor types have been reported in the literature. During a structure-guided lead optimization campaign with μ-PAMs BMS-986121 and BMS-986122 as starting compounds, we discovered a new chemotype that was confirmed to display μ-PAM or μ-SAM activity depending on the specific substitutions as assessed by endomorphin-1-stimulated β-arrestin2 recruitment assays in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO)-μ PathHunter cells. The most active μ-PAM of this series was analyzed further in competition binding and G-protein activation assays to understand its effects on ligand binding and to investigate the nature of its probe dependence.

  8. Cellular signalling of non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the human μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1)

    PubMed Central

    Knapman, Alisa; Connor, Mark

    2015-01-01

    There is significant variability in individual responses to opioid drugs, which is likely to have a significant genetic component. A number of non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding regions of the μ-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) have been postulated to contribute to this variability. Although many studies have investigated the clinical influences of these μ-opioid receptor variants, the outcomes are reported in the context of thousands of other genes and environmental factors, and we are no closer to being able to predict individual response to opioids based on genotype. Investigation of how μ-opioid receptor SNPs affect their expression, coupling to second messengers, desensitization and regulation is necessary to understand how subtle changes in receptor structure can impact individual responses to opioids. To date, the few functional studies that have investigated the consequences of SNPs on the signalling profile of the μ-opioid receptor in vitro have shown that the common N40D variant has altered functional responses to some opioids, while other, rarer, variants display altered signalling or agonist-dependent regulation. Here, we review the data available on the effects of μ-opioid receptor polymorphisms on receptor function, expression and regulation in vitro, and discuss the limitations of the studies to date. Whether or not μ-opioid receptor SNPs contribute to individual variability in opioid responses remains an open question, in large part because we have relatively little good data about how the amino acid changes affect μ-opioid receptor function. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24527749

  9. Receptome: Interactions between three pain-related receptors or the "Triumvirate" of cannabinoid, opioid and TRPV1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Zádor, Ferenc; Wollemann, Maria

    2015-12-01

    A growing amount of data demonstrates the interactions between cannabinoid, opioid and the transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptors. These interactions can be bidirectional, inhibitory or excitatory, acute or chronic in their nature, and arise both at the molecular level (structurally and functionally) and in physiological processes, such as pain modulation or perception. The interactions of these three pain-related receptors may also reserve important and new therapeutic applications for the treatment of chronic pain or inflammation. In this review, we summarize the main findings on the interactions between the cannabinoid, opioid and the TRPV1 receptor regarding to pain modulation.