Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 21, pp 3505–3516

δ-Opioid receptors protect from anoxic disruption of Na+ homeostasis via Na+ channel regulation

  • Xuezhi Kang
  • Dongman Chao
  • Quanbao Gu
  • Guanghong Ding
  • Yingwei Wang
  • Gianfranco Balboni
  • Lawrence H. Lazarus
  • Ying Xia
Research Article


Hypoxic/ischemic disruption of ionic homeostasis is a critical trigger of neuronal injury/death in the brain. There is, however, no promising strategy against such pathophysiologic change to protect the brain from hypoxic/ischemic injury. Here, we present a novel finding that activation of δ-opioid receptors (DOR) reduced anoxic Na+ influx in the mouse cortex, which was completely blocked by DOR antagonism with naltrindole. Furthermore, we co-expressed DOR and Na+ channels in Xenopus oocytes and showed that DOR expression and activation indeed play an inhibitory role in Na+ channel regulation by decreasing the amplitude of sodium currents and increasing activation threshold of Na+ channels. Our results suggest that DOR protects from anoxic disruption of Na+ homeostasis via Na+ channel regulation. These data may potentially have significant impacts on understanding the intrinsic mechanism of neuronal responses to stress and provide clues for better solutions of hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy, and for the exploration of acupuncture mechanism since acupuncture activates opioid system.


δ-Opioid receptor Na+ channels Na+ influx Hypoxia Cortex 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuezhi Kang
    • 1
  • Dongman Chao
    • 2
  • Quanbao Gu
    • 1
  • Guanghong Ding
    • 1
  • Yingwei Wang
    • 3
  • Gianfranco Balboni
    • 4
  • Lawrence H. Lazarus
    • 5
  • Ying Xia
    • 2
  1. 1.Shanghai Research Center for Acupuncture and MeridiansShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Shanghai Jiaotong University College of MedicineShanghaiChina
  4. 4.University of CagliariCagliariItaly
  5. 5.National Institute of Environmental Health SciencesResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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