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Brain Res. 2006 Jun 13;1094(1):92-106. Epub 2006 Jun 2.

Opioid mu receptor activation inhibits sodium currents in prefrontal cortical neurons via a protein kinase A- and C-dependent mechanism.

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Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Pasteura 3, Warsaw 02 093, Poland.


Opioid transmission in the medial prefrontal cortex is involved in mood regulation and is altered by drug dependency. However, the mechanism by which ionic channels in cortical neurons are controlled by mu opioid receptors has not been elucidated. In this study, the effect of mu opioid receptor activation on voltage-dependent Na(+) currents was assessed in medial prefrontal cortical neurons. In 66 out of 98 nonpyramidal neurons, the application of 1 microM of DAMGO ([D-Ala(2), N-Me-Phe(4), Gly(5)-OL]-enkephalin), a specific mu receptor agonist, caused a decrease in the Na(+) current amplitude to approximately 79% of that observed in controls (half blocking concentration = 0.094 microM). Moreover, DAMGO decreased the maximum current activation rate, prolonged its time-dependent inactivation, and shifted the half inactivation voltage from -63.4 mV to -71.5 mV. DAMGO prolonged the time constant of recovery from inactivation from 5.4 ms to 7.4 ms. The DAMGO-evoked inhibition of Na(+) current was attenuated when GDP-beta-S (0.4 mM, Guanosine 5-[beta-thio]diphosphate trilithium salt) was included in the intracellular solution. Inhibitors of kinase A and C greatly attenuated the DAMGO-induced inhibition, while adenylyl cyclase and kinase C activators mirrored the DAMGO inhibitory effect. Na(+) currents in pyramidal neurons were insensitive to DAMGO. We conclude that the activation of mu opioid receptors inhibits the voltage-dependent Na(+) currents expressed in nonpyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex, and that kinases A and C are involved in this inhibitory pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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