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Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Aug 1;58(3):493-501.

Alteration of spinal protein kinase C expression and kinetics in morphine, but not clonidine, tolerance.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130, USA.


Antinociceptive synergism between spinally administered morphine and clonidine decreases to an additive interaction in morphine- and clonidine-tolerant mice. Spinally administered protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors also decrease the synergism to addition. To determine whether chronic morphine or clonidine treatment alters spinal PKC activity, the present studies measured PKC activity and expression of PKC isoform proteins in spinal cord cytosol and membrane fractions. Mice were treated for 4 days with either placebo pellets, morphine pellets, s.c. saline, or s.c. clonidine. Morphine pellet-implanted mice were tolerant to morphine-induced tail flick antinociception, but not cross-tolerant to clonidine. Clonidine-pretreated mice were tolerant to clonidine, but not cross-tolerant to morphine. Induction of morphine tolerance produced a 2-fold lower Km value for PKC (8.24 +/- 1.67 microM in placebo pellet vs 4.43 +/- 1.24 microM in morphine pellet) in cytosol, but not membrane fractions from spinal cord. Vmax values were not different. No difference in Km or Vmax values was found between proteins from saline- and clonidine-pretreated animals. Immunoreactive cPKCalpha, betaI, and gamma isoforms decreased 14, 26, and 17%, respectively, in cytosol from morphine-tolerant animals. No difference in PKC isoforms was found in the membranes or in fractions from clonidine-tolerant mice. Morphine tolerance, but not clonidine tolerance, enhanced PKC activity while decreasing protein expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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