Chronic fentanyl treatments induce the up-regulation of mu opioid receptor mRNA in rat pheochromocytoma cells

Brain Research
M YoshikawaH Furuya


Chronic activation of adenylate cyclase-cAMP-cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) systems by administration of opioid receptor agonists has been considered as one of the mechanisms of opioid tolerance and dependence. Although analysis of the micro opioid receptor (MOR) gene suggests that cAMP-related signal transduction systems regulate the expression of this gene, which transcription factors affect the MOR gene expression in brain and neural cells has not been clarified. This study deals with the effects of fentanyl on MOR mRNA levels in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12 cells). PC12 cells were cultured in medium with clinically relevant concentrations of fentanyl. The quantitative reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used for determination of MOR mRNA. Treatment of PC12 cells with fentanyl induced the MOR mRNA up-regulation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. A cAMP analogue also up-regulated MOR mRNA. The intracellular cAMP level increased after fentanyl treatment. A PKA inhibitor blocked the MOR mRNA up-regulation by fentanyl and the cAMP analogue. Expression of a dominant inhibitory Ras also inhibited the MOR mRNA up-regulation. Fentanyl-induced up-regulation of MOR mRNA ...Continue Reading


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