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 InfoXu, Mei; Petraschka, Michael; McLaughlin, Jay P; Westenbroek, Ruth E; Caron, Marc G; Lefkowitz, Robert J; ... Chavkin, Charles (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 Cell Biology
Studies of the mechanisms of action and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters at the cellular and molecular levels constitute the main goals our of research activities. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) mediate the actions of signaling molecules from unicellular organisms to man. We have used adrenergic and dopamine receptors to characterize the structure/function and regulation mechanisms of these prototypes of G protein-coupled receptors. Another approach has been to characterize
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Dr. Lefkowitz’s memoir, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm, recounts his early career as a cardiologist and his transition to biochemistry, which led to his Nobel Prize win. Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D. is James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the Duke University Medical Center. He has been an Investigator of the
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