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J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Aug;188(1-2):56-63. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Comparative analysis of mu-opioid receptor expression in immune and neuronal cells.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Magdeburg, Madgeburg, Germany.


Morphine modulates neuronal and immune cell functions via mu-opioid receptors. In primary and Jurkat T cells, and Raji B cells mu-opioid receptor transcripts were detected only after stimulation of the cells with IL-4 or TNF-alpha. Moreover, the amount of the induced mu-opioid receptor mRNA in the immune cells was 15 to 200 times less than those in primary cortical and SH SY5Y neuronal cells. Nevertheless, mu-opioid receptor mRNA in immune cells is processed to functional receptors, as demonstrated by morphine-mediated phosphorylation of mitogen activated protein kinase, morphine-mediated up-regulation of IL-4 mRNA and coupling to adenylyl cyclase in Jurkat cells.

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