Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroscience. 1992 Aug;49(4):937-44.

Chronic exposure to morphine does not induce dependence at the level of the calcium channel current in human SH-SY5Y cells.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, U.K.


mu-Opioid receptors mediate inhibition of the N-type calcium channel current in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. We have previously shown that chronic exposure to morphine induces homologous tolerance to this effect. Here we show that chronic incubation with morphine (1 microM for three to seven days) does not, however, induce physical dependence at the level of the calcium channel current. Initial experiments were performed using the whole cell voltage-clamp technique. Chronically treated cells were bathed in superfusate which also contained morphine (1 microM). On washout of morphine the current amplitude increased by 12% and this was reversed by re-addition of morphine. Naloxone (1 microM) elicited a similar increase. However, this increase is most likely due to a reversal of the residual inhibitory effect of morphine on the calcium channel current rather than being a novel withdrawal response. Chronic exposure to morphine did not change the voltage-sensitivity of the calcium channel current or induce the appearance of a current sensitive to the L-type calcium channel agonists Bay K 8644 (3 microM) and S(+)-PN 202-791 (1 microM). In a further series of experiments the nystatin-perforated patch technique was employed in order to prevent washout of any L-type current in these cells. Under these conditions a Bay K 8644-sensitive, L-type current was unmasked following treatment with omega Conus Toxin GVIA. The peak current was depressed by omega Conus Toxin GVIA (1 microM) by approximately 90% both in control cells and cells chronically exposed to morphine. Now Bay K 8644 (3 microM) almost doubled the remaining current but the effect was equal in both groups of cells. It is concluded that chronic exposure to morphine does not induce physical dependence and a withdrawal syndrome in the human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line by changing either N-type or L-type calcium channel activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center