Midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) and spinal cord dorsal horn are major action sites of opioid analgesics in the pain pathway. Our previous study has shown that opioid antagonists activate MORS196A-CSTA (a mutant of mu-opioid receptor) as full agonists in vitro cell models and naloxone showed antinociceptive effects after the expression of MORS196A-CSTA in the spinal cord in mice. The purpose of this study is to investigate the site-directed antinociceptive effects of naloxone in mice injected with dsAAV-MORS196A-CSTA-EGFP at spinal cord or at periaqueductal gray. MORS196A-CSTA-EGFP was administered to ICR mice using dsAAV as vector. We measured MORS196A-CSTA-EGFP expression by detecting the EGFP visualization with a fluorescence microscope. The antinociceptive effect of naloxone was determined by tail-flick test and hot plate test. Drug rewarding effect was evaluated by the conditioned place preference test. Naloxone (10 mg/kg, s.c.) elicited both supraspinal and spinal antinociceptive responses in mice injected with the virus at PAG while only spinal antinociceptive response was observed in mice injected with virus at dorsal horn region. Chronic naloxone treatment did not induce physical dependence or rewarding effect in mice injected with MORS196A-CSTA-EGFP in spinal cord or PAG. These data suggest that the observed naloxone-induced antinociceptive response is the consequence of the local expression of MORS196A-CSTA at specific sites of pain pathway. Injection of such MOR mutant and the systemic administration of naloxone can be a new strategy in the management of chronic pain without the various side effects associated with the use of morphine.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Aug 2012|
- Opioid receptor