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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2018;247:179-197. doi: 10.1007/164_2017_42.

Delta Opioid Receptors and Modulation of Mood and Emotion.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.
2
Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. ejutkiew@umich.edu.

Abstract

Depression is a pervasive and debilitating mental disorder that is inadequately treated by current pharmacotherapies in a majority of patients. Although opioids have long been known to regulate mood states, the use of opioids to treat depression is rarely discussed. This chapter explores the preclinical and clinical evidence supporting the antidepressant-like effects of opioid ligands, and in particular, delta opioid receptor (DOR) agonists. DOR agonists have been shown to produce antidepressant-like effects in a number of animal models. Some DOR agonists also produce convulsions which has limited their clinical utility. However, DOR agonists that generate antidepressant-like effects without convulsions have recently been developed and these drugs are beginning to be evaluated in humans. Work investigating potential mechanisms of action for the antidepressant-like effects of DOR agonists is also explored. Understanding mechanisms that give rise to DOR-mediated behaviors is critical for the development of DOR drugs with improved safety and clinical utility, and future work should be devoted to elucidating these pathways.

KEYWORDS:

Animal models; Antidepressant-like effects; Convulsions; Delta opioid receptor; Delta opioid receptor agonists; Enkephalin; Intracellular molecules; Mood; Neurotransmitters

PMID:
28993835
DOI:
10.1007/164_2017_42
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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