Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), especially microRNAs, are reported to be involved in a variety of biological processes, including several processes related to drug addiction. It has been suggested that the biological functions of opioids, one typical type of addictive drugs, are regulated by ncRNAs. In the current review, we examine a variety of mechanisms through which ncRNAs could regulate μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) activities and thereby contribute to the development of opioid addiction. Using miR-23b as an example, we present the possible ways in which ncRNA-mediated regulation of OPRM1 expression could impact opioid addiction. Using miR-190 as an example, we demonstrate the critical roles played by ncRNAs in the signal cascade from receptor to systemic responses, including the possible modulation of adult neurogenesis and in vivo contextual memory. After discussing the possible targets of ncRNAs involved in the development of opioid addiction, we summarize the mechanisms underlying the interaction between ncRNAs and opioid addiction and present suggestions for further study.
- Non-coding RNA
- Opioid addiction