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J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2012 Dec;7(4):835-42. doi: 10.1007/s11481-012-9396-6. Epub 2012 Aug 25.

Regulation of mu opioid receptor expression in developing T cells.

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  • 1Center for Substance Abuse Research, Center for Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Lung Research, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.

Abstract

We have previously reported that functionally active μ-opioid receptors (MOR) are constitutively expressed at relatively low levels by developing T cells in the thymus. However, very little is known about the regulation of MOR expression by immature T cells. In this report, we first attempted to determine the effect of T cell receptor-induced T cell activation on the expression of MOR. We activated T cells with either the combination of anti-CD3 and CD28, or with superantigen, and observed a substantial increase in MOR transcript expression. We also chose to examine the effect of cytokine-mediated T cell activation on the expression of this opioid receptor. We selected certain cytokines that play a role in T cell development and are known to be present at functional levels in the thymus gland. Our results show that interferon γ (IFNγ), IL-1β, and IL-2, and in particular transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), all induced significant increases in MOR transcript expression. On the other hand, both TNFα and IL-7 exhibited much weaker effects on MOR expression. These results show that MOR expression by developing T cells is strongly regulated by several cytokines involved in T cell development in the thymus gland.

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PMID:
22926418
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3518723
Free PMC Article
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