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Neuropharmacology. 2004 Mar;46(4):531-40.

Functional interaction among opioid receptor types: up-regulation of mu- and delta-opioid receptor functions after repeated stimulation of kappa-opioid receptors.

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Department of Toxicology, Hoshi University, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-4-41 Ebara, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo 142-8501, Japan.


It has been widely accepted that repeated administration of kappa-opioid receptor agonists leads to the development of antinociceptive tolerance. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of repeated administration of a selective kappa-opioid receptor agonist (1S-trans)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)cyclohexyl]-benzeneacetamide hydrochloride ((-)U-50,488H) on the mu- and delta-opioid receptor agonist-induced antinociception and G-protein activation in mice. The mice were injected either subcutaneously (s.c.) or intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) pretreated with saline or (-)U-50,488H once a day for seven consecutive days. Two hours after the last injection, the mice were challenged by either mu- or delta-opioid receptor agonist for the antinociceptive assay. Repeated treatment with (-)U-50,488H (s.c. or i.c.v.) significantly enhanced antinociceptive effect of both mu-opioid receptor agonist (morphine) and delta-opioid receptor agonists ([d-Ala2]deltorphin (DELT) and (+)-4-[(alphaR)-alpha-((2S,5R)-4-allyl-2,5-dime thyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-methoxybenzyl]-N,N-diethylbenzamide (SNC-80) compared to saline-treated groups. Under these conditions, repeated s.c. injection of (-)U-50,488H significantly enhanced both mu- and delta-opioid receptor agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding in the membrane of the thalamus. On the contrary, either repeated administration of morphine (s.c. or i.c.v.) or SNC-80 failed to affect the kappa-opioid receptor agonist-induced antinociception and G-protein activation. Taken together, these results suggest that repeated stimulation of kappa-opioid receptor markedly increases the functional mu- and delta-opioid receptors, whereas repeated stimulation of either mu- or delta-opioid receptor had no direct effect on kappa-opioidergic function in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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