Neuropathic pain activates the endogenous kappa opioid system in mouse spinal cord and induces opioid receptor tolerance.
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Release of endogenous dynorphin opioids within the spinal cord after partial sciatic nerve ligation (pSNL) is known to contribute to the neuropathic pain processes. Using a phosphoselective antibody [kappa opioid receptor (KOR-P)] able to detect the serine 369 phosphorylated form of the KOR, we determined possible sites of dynorphin action within the spinal cord after pSNL. KOR-P immunoreactivity (IR) was markedly increased in the L4-L5 spinal dorsal horn of wild-type C57BL/6 mice (7-21 d) after lesion, but not in mice pretreated with the KOR antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (norBNI). In addition, knock-out mice lacking prodynorphin, KOR, or G-protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) did not show significant increases in KOR-P IR after pSNL. KOR-P IR was colocalized in both GABAergic neurons and GFAP-positive astrocytes in both ipsilateral and contralateral spinal dorsal horn. Consistent with sustained opioid release, KOR knock-out mice developed significantly increased tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in both the early (first week) and late (third week) interval after lesion. Similarly, mice pretreated with norBNI showed enhanced hyperalgesia and allodynia during the 3 weeks after pSNL. Because sustained activation of opioid receptors might induce tolerance, we measured the antinociceptive effect of the kappa agonist U50,488 using radiant heat applied to the ipsilateral hindpaw, and we found that agonist potency was significantly decreased 7 d after pSNL. In contrast, neither prodynorphin nor GRK3 knock-out mice showed U50,488 tolerance after pSNL. These findings suggest that pSNL induced a sustained release of endogenous prodynorphin-derived opioid peptides that activated an anti-nociceptive KOR system in mouse spinal cord. Thus, endogenous dynorphin had both pronociceptive and antinociceptive actions after nerve injury and induced GRK3-mediated opioid tolerance.
Disease Models, Animal
G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Receptors, Opioid, kappa
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5552-03.2004
Publication InfoCaron, MG; Chavkin, C; Czyzyk, TA; Lefkowitz, Robert J; McLaughlin, JP; Petraschka, M; ... Xu, M (2004). Neuropathic pain activates the endogenous kappa opioid system in mouse spinal cord and induces opioid receptor tolerance. J Neurosci, 24(19). pp. 4576-4584. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5552-03.2004. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5936.
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James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine
The focus of work in this laboratory is on the elucidation of the molecular properties and regulatory mechanisms controlling the function of G protein-coupled receptors. As model systems we utilize the so called adrenergic receptors for adrenaline and related molecules. The goal is to learn the general principles of signal transduction from the outside to the inside of the cell which are involved in systems as diverse as sensory perception, neuro- transmitter and hormonal signaling. Stud