[3H]Morphine binding is enhanced by IL-1-stimulated thymocyte proliferation

Sabita Roy, Bang Lun Ge, Sundaram Ramakrishnan, Nancy M. Lee, Horace H Loh

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46 Scopus citations


Mouse thymocytes incubated in vitro with increasing concentrations of interleukin-1 (IL-1) in the presence of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) exhibited a dose-dependent increase in cell proliferation, as measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Under these conditions, there was a parallel dosedependent increase in specific [3H]morphine binding, with a maximum increase of approximately 5-fold over basal levels. The binding sites differ from classical opioid receptors in that they are not stereo-selective. Interleukin-2 was ineffective in promoting either cell proliferation or enhanced opioid binding, but the effects of IL-1 could be mimicked by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), suggesting the involvement of tyrosine phosphorylation. These results indicate that morphine-binding sites on immune cells can be regulated by cytokine activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 5 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknow/edger?lents: This worh was supported by NIDA Research grants DA06011 (N.M.L.) and DA00564 (H.H.L.). and by Retearch Scientist Awards DA-00020 (N.M.L.) and DA-70554 (H.H.L.).


  • Cell proliferation
  • Immune
  • Interleukin
  • Opioid binding
  • Phorbol ester
  • Up-regulation


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