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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1999 Oct;291(1):12-8.

Endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 show differences in their activation of mu opioid receptor-regulated G proteins in supraspinal antinociception in mice.

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Neurofarmacología, Instituto de Neurobiología Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


Endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 are tetrapeptides of the brain whose binding profiles and analgesic activities indicate that they are endogenous ligands at micro opioid receptors. To analyze the classes of G transducer proteins activated by these opioids in the production of supraspinal antinociception, the expression of alpha subunits of the G(i) protein class, G(i1), G(i2), G(i3), G(o1), G(o2), and G(z), and those of the G(q) protein family, G(q) and G(11), was reduced by administration of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) complementary to sequences in their respective mRNAs. The ODN treatments promoted differences in the analgesic effects displayed by morphine, [D-Ala(2),N-MePhe(4), Gly-ol(5)]enkephalin (DAMGO), and the novel opioids endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2. The impairment of G(i1)alpha and G(i3)alpha function led to a weaker analgesic response to the endomorphins and to the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine, whereas the effects of morphine and DAMGO were not affected. An antisense probe targeting G(i2)alpha blocked the antinociceptive effects of endomorphin-2, morphine, DAMGO, and clonidine but was without effect on the activity of endomorphin-1. Mice receiving the ODN to G(z)alpha subunits showed impaired response to all agonists. The knockdown of either G(o1)alpha, G(o2)alpha, G(q)alpha, or G(11)alpha had little or no influence on the antinociception induced by any of the opioids in the study. Thus, agonists exhibit differences in activating the variety of GTP-binding proteins regulated by mu opioid receptors.

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