Inhibition of morphine tolerance and dependence by diazepam and its relation to mu-opioid receptors in the rat brain and spinal cord
Tejwani GA, Sheu MJ, Sribanditmongkol P, Satyapriya A.
Department of Pharmacology,
The Ohio State University,
College of Medicine and Public Health,
5197 Graves Hall,
333 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus,
OH 43210-1239, USA.
Brain Res. 1998 Jun 29;797(2):305-12.
ABSTRACTO We have recently observed that concomitant administration of diazepam to morphine pellet implanted rats results in the inhibition of the development of morphine tolerance and dependence. We have now analyzed mu-opioid receptors in rats treated with morphine and diazepam for 5 days by using [3H]-DAMGO for binding studies. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were made tolerant and dependent by subcutaneous (s.c.) implantation of six morphine pellets (two pellets on the first day, and four on the second day). Diazepam (0.25 mg/kg b.wt) was injected once daily intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 5 days. Control rats were implanted with placebo pellets and injected once daily with saline or diazepam (i.p.). Animals were administered s.c. naloxone (10 mg/kg) to induce naloxone-precipitated withdrawal syndrome on the final day of the experiment (day 5). There was an up-regulation of mu-receptor (Bmax increased) in the spinal cord of morphine tolerant (+139%) and dependent (+155%) rats compared to saline treated animals. Diazepam treatment abolished the up-regulation of mu-receptors in spinal cord of morphine treated rats. In the cortex, Bmax was not affected in morphine tolerant or dependent rats but it decreased by 38% in morphine tolerant and 65% in morphine dependent rats treated with diazepam. The Kd of mu-receptors increased in the cortex, striatum and hypothalamus of morphine dependent rats. Diazepam treatment decreased the Kd of mu-receptors in the cortex of morphine tolerant and hypothalamus of morphine-dependent rats. These results suggest that diazepam treatment antagonizes the up-regulation of CNS mu-receptors observed in morphine tolerant rats. In addition, morphine tolerance and dependence may be associated with conversion of mu-opioid receptors to mu-constitutive opioid receptors that are less active, and this conversion is prevented in the brain of animals treated with diazepam.Pain
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