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Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 157–166 | Cite as

Upregulation of Mu Opioid Receptors by Voluntary Morphine Administration in Drinking Water

  • Gabriella Fábián
  • B. Tombor
  • Ildikó Németh
  • Emese G. Kicsi
  • Margit Szikszay
  • Gyöngyi Horváth
  • Mária SzűcsEmail author
Article

Abstract

Morphine was provided to rats in drinking water for 21 days. Profound analgesic tolerance was detected both in hot-plate and tail-flick tests. The density of [3H]DAMGO binding sites increased by 76% in spinal cord membranes due to morphine exposure compared to those in opioid naive animals. Slightly augmented [3H]DAMGO binding was measured in the synaptic plasma membranes, with a concomitant decrease in the microsomal membranes, of morphine tolerant/dependent brains. These observations suggest that the regulation of spinal mu opioid receptors might be different from those in the brain. It is emphasized that the molecular changes underlying tolerance/dependence are influenced by several factors, such as the tissue or subcellular fractions used, besides the obvious importance of the route of drug administration. Results obtained after voluntary morphine intake further support the growing number of experimental data that chronic morphine does not internalize/downregulate the mu opioid receptors in the central nervous system.

Keywords

Opioid upregulation tolerance morphine spinal cord 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The interest and helpful comments of Mária Wollemann are highly appreciated. Thanks are due to Mrs. Ildikó Dobos for excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by OTKA T-033062, T-34741 and ETT 042/2001 research funds.

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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2003

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriella Fábián
    • 1
  • B. Tombor
    • 1
  • Ildikó Németh
    • 1
  • Emese G. Kicsi
    • 1
  • Margit Szikszay
    • 2
  • Gyöngyi Horváth
    • 2
  • Mária Szűcs
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of BiochemistryBiological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesSzegedHungary
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical CenterSzeged UniversitySzegedHungary

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