Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int Immunopharmacol. 2001 Sep;1(9-10):1733-42.

Kappa-opioid receptors on lymphocytes of a human lymphocytic cell line: morphine-induced up-regulation as evidenced by competitive RT-PCR and indirect immunofluorescence.

Author information

Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of California, School of Medicine, Davis 95616, USA.


We have previously shown that classical brain-like kappa opioid receptors (KOR) are constitutively expressed in lymphocytic cells. including human CEM x174 T-B hybrid cells, Jurkat -T4 cells, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), human CD4+ cells and monkey PBMC (Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 209 (1995) 1003). The present study further demonstrates that the KOR of lymphocytes are activated in the presence of extracellular morphine or U50,488H, a KOR selective agonist, and the activation causes an increase in the expression of KOR mRNA, as determined by a quantitative competitive Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) procedure. The observed agonist-induced KOR up-regulation was blocked by treating the cells with either naloxone (a KOR-partially selective antagonist) or nor-binaltorphimine (a KOR-selective antagonist). Up-regulation of lymphocytic KOR by morphine was also evidenced by flow cytometric analysis of phycoerythrin (PE) amplification of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated arylacetamide labeling of the KOR. Although morphine binds primarily to mu-opioid receptors, together with the previously reported phenomenon that morphine modulation of immune functions also exists in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, the present study confirms that opioids such as morphine may exert their effects through multiple opioid receptor types and that the effects of morphine or endogenous opioids on immune cells could not be simply adduced from the anticipated effects of a synthetic, selective opioid receptor ligand.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center