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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1995 Jun;30(2):203-10.

Double in situ hybridization study on coexistence of mu-, delta- and kappa-opioid receptor mRNAs with preprotachykinin A mRNA in the rat dorsal root ganglia.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan.


Coexistence of the mRNA for each subtype of opioid receptor (OPR) with the mRNA for preprotachykinin A (PPTA), a precursor protein of substance P (SP), in the rat dorsal root ganglia was examined by double in situ hybridization technique. About 90% and 30% of PPTA mRNA-positive neurons expressed mu- and kappa-OPR mRNAs at high level, respectively. However, only about 3% of PPTA mRNA-positive neurons expressed delta-OPR mRNA at high level. These results suggest that mu- and kappa-OPRs exist on most of and a part of the primary afferent terminals containing SP, respectively. On the other hand, among the neurons which highly expressed mu-, delta- or kappa-OPR mRNA, PPTA mRNA was not expressed in about 58%, 95% or 24% of those neurons, respectively. These findings suggest the possibility that OPRs co-exist with other neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators than SP in the primary afferent neurons.

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