Genetic dissociation of opiate tolerance and physical dependence in δ-opioid receptor-1 and preproenkephalin knock-out mice

Joshua F. Nitsche, Alwin G.P. Schuller, Michael A. King, Min Zengh, Gavril W. Pasternak, John E. Pintar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous experiments have shown that mice lacking a functional δ-opioid receptor (DOR-1) gene do not develop analgesic tolerance to morphine. Here we report that mice lacking a functional gene for the endogenous ligand preproenkephalin (ppENK) show a similar tolerance deficit. In addition, we found that the DOR-1 and ppENK knock-outs as well as the NMDA receptor-deficient 129S6 inbred mouse strain, which also lacks tolerance, exhibit antagonist-induced opioid withdrawal. These data demonstrate that although signaling pathways involving ppENK, DOR, and NMDA receptor are necessary for the expression of morphine tolerance, other pathways independent of these factors can mediate physical dependence. Moreover, these studies illustrate that morphine tolerance can be genetically dissociated from physical dependence, and thus provide a genetic framework to assess more precisely the contribution of various cellular and molecular changes that accompany morphine administration to these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10906-10913
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume22
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Dependence
  • Morphine
  • NMDA receptor
  • Opiate
  • Tolerance
  • δ-opioid receptor, preproenkephalin
  • μ-opioid receptor

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