The mu-opioid receptor gene-dose dependent reductions in G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and antinociception induced by endomorphins in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice
Mizoguchi H, Narita M, Oji DE, Suganuma C,
Nagase H, Sora I, Uhl GR, Cheng EY, Tseng LF
J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2000 Feb; 292(2):576-83


There appear to be different relationships between mu-opioid receptor densities and the acute and neuroadaptive mu-opioid agonist-induced responses of the multiple opioid neuronal systems, including important pons/medulla circuits. The recent success in creating mu-opioid receptor knockout mice allows studies of mu-opioid agonist-induced pharmacological and physiological effects in animals that express no, one or two copies of the mu-opioid receptor gene. We now report that the binding of mu-opioid receptor ligand, [3H][D-Ala2,NHPhe4,Gly-ol]enkephalin to membrane preparations of the pons/medulla was reduced by half in heterozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice and eliminated in homozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice. The endogenous mu-opioid agonist peptides endomorphin-1 and -2 activate G-proteins in the pons/medulla from wild-type mice in a concentration-dependent fashion, as assessed using [35S]guanosine-5'-o-(3-thio)triphosphate binding. This stimulation was reduced to half of the wild-type levels in heterozygous mice and eliminated in homozygous knockout mice. The intracerebroventricular injection of either endomorphin-1 or endomorphin-2 produced marked antinociception in the hot-plate and tail-flick tests in wild-type mice. These antinociceptive actions were significantly reduced in heterozygous mu-opioid receptor knockout mice, and virtually abolished in homozygous knockout mice. The mu-opioid receptors are the principal molecular targets for endomorphin-induced G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and the antinociception caused by the intracerebroventricular administration of mu-opioid agonists. These data support the notion that there are limited physiological mu-opioid receptor reserves for inducing G-protein activation in the pons/medulla and for the nociceptive modulation induced by the central administration of endomorphin-1 and -2.
Endomorphins 1 and 2
Endomorphins and the mouse
The degradation of endorphins
The rewards of endomorphin 1
Endomorphins and rodent brains
Adenylyl cyclase superactivation
Endomorphins and the mu-opioid receptor
How to increase blood-brain barrier penetration of endomorphin 1
Rewarding and psychomotor stimulant effects of endomorphin 1

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family