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Brain Res. 1988 Sep 6;459(2):391-7.

Morphine alters preproenkephalin gene expression.

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  • 1Gene Neuroscience Unit, ARC, NIDA, Baltimore, MD 21224.


Rats made tolerant/dependent to morphine by s.c. implantation of drug pellets displayed a significant decrease in striatal preproenkephalin mRNA that persisted during the period of withdrawal. Levels of Met-enkephalin were normal at the end of treatment, but reduced after withdrawal. The direction and time-course of these alterations are consistent with roles for altered neuronal gene expression in the phenomena of opiate tolerance and dependence.

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