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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1998 Mar;19(3):94-8.

mu-Opposing actions of the kappa-opioid receptor.

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Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Pharmacological studies and recent research using genetic approaches have indicated that most actions of exogenous opioids, such as morphine, are mediated through the mu-opioid receptor. By contrast, the function of the kappa-opioid receptor in opioid actions largely remains unclear. In this article, Zhizhong Z. Pan discusses the accumulating evidence that activation of the kappa-receptor antagonizes various mu-receptor-mediated actions in the brain, including analgesia, tolerance, reward and memory processes. The neural mechanism for this potentially ubiquitous mu-opposing function of the kappa-receptor is believed to involve distinct locations of the two opioid receptors on physiologically different cell types in local neuronal networks that are implicated in an opioid action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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