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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2002 Jun;13(3):209-22.

Interactions between opioid and chemokine receptors: heterologous desensitization.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Center for Substance Abuse Research, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


The opioid and chemokine receptors are both members of the seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. Desensitization is believed to be a major element of the regulation of the function of these receptors, and recent findings suggest that both agonist-dependent (homologous) desensitization and heterologous desensitization can control receptor activity. The cross-desensitization between opioid and chemokine receptors has significant implications for our understanding of both the regulation of leukocyte trafficking, as well as the regulation of chemokine receptor function in inflammatory disease states. We also review findings which suggest that pro-inflammatory chemokine receptor-induced heterologous desensitization of opioid receptors has important implications for the regulation of opioid receptor function in the nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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