Increased abundance of opioid receptor heteromers after chronic morphine administration

Achla Gupta, Jan Mulder, Ivone Gomes, Raphael Rozenfeld, Ittai Bushlin, Edmund Ong, Maribel Lim, Emeline Maillet, Mats Junek, Catherine M. Cahill, Tibor Harkany, Lakshmi A. Devi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


The μ and δ types of opioid receptors form heteromers that exhibit pharmacological and functional properties distinct from those of homomeric receptors. To characterize these complexes in the brain, we generated antibodies that selectively recognize the μ-δ heteromer and blocked its in vitro signaling. With these antibodies, we showed that chronic, but not acute, morphine treatment caused an increase in the abundance of μ-δ heteromers in key areas of the central nervous system that are implicated in pain processing. Because of its distinct signaling properties, the μ-δ heteromer could be a therapeutic target in the treatment of chronic pain and addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ra54
JournalScience signaling
Issue number131
StatePublished - Jul 20 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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