The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
The mesolimbic dopamine and opioid systems are postulated to influence the central control of physical activity motivation. We utilized selectively bred rats for high (HVR) or low (LVR) voluntary running behavior to examine (1) inherent differences in mu-opioid receptor (Oprm1) expression and function in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), (2) if dopamine-related mRNAs, wheel-running, and food intake are differently influenced by intraperitoneal (i.p.) naltrexone injection in HVR and LVR rats, and (3) if dopamine is required for naltrexone-induced changes in running and feeding behavior in HVR rats. Oprm1 mRNA and protein expression were greater in the NAc of HVR rats, and application of the Oprm1 agonist [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) to dissociated NAc neurons produced greater depolarizing responses in neurons from HVR versus LVR rats. Naltrexone injection dose-dependently decreased wheel running and food intake in HVR, but not LVR, rats. Naltrexone (20mg/kg) decreased tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA in the ventral tegmental area and Fos and Drd5 mRNA in NAc shell of HVR, but not LVR, rats. Additionally, lesion of dopaminergic neurons in the NAc with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) ablated the decrease in running, but not food intake, in HVR rats following i.p. naltrexone administration. Collectively, these data suggest the higher levels of running observed in HVR rats, compared to LVR rats, are mediated, in part, by increased mesolimbic opioidergic signaling that requires downstream dopaminergic activity to influence voluntary running, but not food intake.
Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) play important roles in controlling neurotransmitter and hormone release. Inhibition of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (Ca(2+) channels) by G protein betagamma subunits (Gbetagamma) is one prominent mechanism, but there is evidence for additional effects distinct from those on calcium entry. However, relatively few studies have investigated the Ca(2+)-channel-independent effects of Gbetagamma on transmitter release, so the impact of this mechanism remains unclear. We used carbon fiber amperometry to analyze catecholamine release from individual vesicles in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, a widely used neurosecretory model. To bypass the effects of Gbetagamma on Ca(2+) entry, we stimulated secretion using ionomycin (a Ca(2+) ionophore) or direct intracellular application of Ca(2+) through a patch pipette. Activation of endogenous GPCR or transient transfection with exogenous Gbetagamma significantly reduced the number of amperometric spikes (the number of vesicular fusion events). The charge ("quantal size") and amplitude of the amperometric spikes were also significantly reduced by GPCR/Gbetagamma. We conclude that independent from effects on calcium entry, Gbetagamma can regulate both the number of vesicles that undergo exocytosis and the amount of catecholamine released per fusion event. We discuss possible mechanisms by which Gbetagamma might exert these novel effects including interaction with the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex.
Receptor desensitization by G-protein receptor kinases (GRK) and arrestins is likely to be an important component underlying the development of tolerance to opioid drugs. Reconstitution of this process in Xenopus oocytes revealed distinct differences in the kinetics of GRK and arrestin regulation of the closely related opioid receptors mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR). We demonstrated that under identical conditions, GRK and arrestin-dependent desensitization of MOR proceeds dramatically slower than that of DOR. Furthermore, GRK3 phosphorylation sites required for opioid receptor desensitization also greatly differ. The determinants for DOR and KOR desensitization reside in the carboxyl-terminal tail, whereas MOR depends on Thr-180 in the second intracellular loop. Although this later finding might indicate an inefficient phosphorylation of MOR Thr-180, increasing the amount of arrestin expressed greatly increased the rate of MOR desensitization to a rate comparable with that of DOR. Similarly, coexpression of a constitutively active arrestin 2(R169E) with MOR and DOR desensitized both receptors in an agonist-dependent, GRK-independent manner at rates that were indistinguishable. Together, these data suggest that it is the activation of arrestin, rather than its binding, that is the rate-limiting step in MOR desensitization. In addition, mutation of Thr-161 in DOR, homologous to MOR Thr-180, significantly inhibited the faster desensitization of DOR. These results suggest that DOR desensitization involves phosphorylation of both the carboxyl-terminal tail and the second intracellular loop that together leads to a more efficient activation of arrestin and thus faster desensitization.
To determine the sites in the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) critical for agonist-dependent desensitization, we constructed and coexpressed MORs lacking potential phosphorylation sites along with G-protein activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels composed of K(ir)3.1 and K(ir)3.4 subunits in Xenopus oocytes. Activation of MOR by the stable enkephalin analogue, [d-Ala(2),MePhe(4),Glyol(5)]enkephalin, led to homologous MOR desensitization in oocytes coexpressing both G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) and beta-arrestin 2 (arr3). Coexpression with either GRK3 or arr3 individually did not significantly enhance desensitization of responses evoked by wild type MOR activation. Mutation of serine or threonine residues to alanines in the putative third cytoplasmic loop and truncation of the C-terminal tail did not block GRK/arr3-mediated desensitization of MOR. Instead, alanine substitution of a single threonine in the second cytoplasmic loop to produce MOR(T180A) was sufficient to block homologous desensitization. The insensitivity of MOR(T180A) might have resulted either from a block of arrestin activation or arrestin binding to MOR. To distinguish between these alternatives, we expressed a dominant positive arrestin, arr2(R169E), that desensitizes G protein-coupled receptors in an agonist-dependent but phosphorylation-independent manner. arr2(R169E) produced robust desensitization of MOR and MOR(T180A) in the absence of GRK3 coexpression. These results demonstrate that the T180A mutation probably blocks GRK3- and arr3-mediated desensitization of MOR by preventing a critical agonist-dependent receptor phosphorylation and suggest a novel GRK3 site of regulation not yet described for other G-protein-coupled receptors.
17beta-Estradiol (E2) rapidly (<20 min) attenuates the ability of mu-opioids to hyperpolarize guinea pig hypothalamic (beta-endorphin) neurons. In the current study, we used intracellular recordings from guinea pig hypothalamic slices to characterize the receptor and intracellular effector system mediating the rapid effects of E2. E2 acted stereospecifically with physiologically relevant concentration dependence (EC50 = 8 nM) to cause a 4-fold reduction in the potency of a mu-opioid agonist to activate an inwardly rectifying K+ conductance. Using Schild analysis to estimate the affinity of the mu-opioid receptor for an antagonist (naloxone), we found that estrogen did not compete for the mu-opioid receptor or alter the affinity of the mu receptor. Both the nonsteroidal estrogen diethylstilbestrol and the "pure" antiestrogen ICI 164,384 blocked the actions of E2, the latter with a subnanomolar affinity. The protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide did not block the estrogenic uncoupling of the mu-opioid receptor from its K+ channel, implying a nongenomic mechanism of action by E2. The actions of E2 were mimicked by the protein kinase A (PKA) activators forskolin and cAMP, Sp-isomer triethylammonium salt. Furthermore, the selective PKA antagonists cAMP, Rp-isomer triethylammonium salt and KT5720, which have different chemical structures and modes of action, both blocked the effects of E2. Thus, estrogen binds to a specific receptor that activates PKA to rapidly uncouple the mu-opioid receptor from its K+ channel. Because we have previously shown that gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptors are also uncoupled by estrogen, this mechanism of action has the potential to alter synaptic transmission via G protein-coupled receptors throughout the brain.
The present study examined the potential for cross-tolerance development between mu-opioid and gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonists, in hypothalamic arcuate neurons, resulting from chronic morphine treatment. Intracellular recordings were made in hypothalamic slices prepared from ovariectomized female guinea pigs. The mu-opioid receptor agonist D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin and the gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonist baclofen produced dose-dependent membrane hyperpolarizations of arcuate neurons. The reversal potential for both agonist-induced hyperpolarizations was near -95 mV, indicative of the activation of an underlying K+ conductance. Coadministration of maximally effective concentrations of D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin and baclofen produced a response that was not additive, indicating a convergence onto a common K+ channel. In arcuate neurons, including a subset that was immunopositive for tyrosine hydroxylase, chronic morphine treatment for 4 to 7 days produced a 3.2-fold reduction in the potency, with no change in the efficacy, of D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4,Gly-ol5-enkephalin. In contrast, it affected neither the potency nor the efficacy of baclofen. Therefore, chronic morphine exposure does not produce cross-tolerance between mu-opioid and gamma-aminobutyric acidB receptor agonists in A12 dopamine neurons, suggesting that convergence upon a common effector is not a sufficient criterion for the development of cross-tolerance between receptor systems.
GABA is a predominant neurotransmitter in the hypothalamus and an important regulator of hypothalamic function. To elucidate the cellular basis for GABAergic action in this region, we used intracellular recordings from identified hypothalamic neurons. Ninety-three percent of the mediobasal hypothalamic neurons responded to GABAB receptor stimulation, and the presence of bicuculline-sensitive synaptic potentials indicated a tonic, GABAA receptor-mediated input. Stimulation of GABAB receptors hyperpolarized these cells by activating an inwardly rectifying potassium conductance. We characterized GABAB responses by generating concentration-response curves to the GABAB agonist baclofen. There was heterogeneity in the responses to baclofen, with one third of the cells having low baclofen potency (EC50 = 5.0 microM). Two thirds of the neurons had a 4-fold higher potency (EC50 = 1.2 microM), larger somas and a more lateral distribution. Previous work has shown that hypothalamic GABAB and mu-opioid receptors open the same K+ channels and that the response to mu-opioid agonists is rapidly attenuated by 17 beta-estradiol (E2). In order to test the hypothesis that the coupling of GABAB receptors to K+ channels is also altered, baclofen concentration-response curves were generated before and after an E2 challenge (100 nM, 20 min). Consistent with our hypothesis, the potency of baclofen was decreased nearly 4-fold in a subset of the cells that had a high potency response to baclofen. Furthermore, decreased baclofen potency only occurred in those cells in which E2 also altered the mu-opioid responses. Therefore, our findings suggest that a discrete subpopulation of hypothalamic neurons is sensitive to estrogen actions to alter inhibitory transmission. We propose that the alteration of GABAB and mu-opioid input is consistent with estrogen's rapid inhibition of the reproductive axis.
Modulation of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel current (I(Ca)) regulates secretion of catecholamines from adrenal chromaffin cells. Previous work demonstrated that I(Ca) can be augmented by phosphorylation to increase secretion or that inhibition of I(Ca) results in diminished catecholamine secretion. In the current manuscript, we show that stimulation of chromaffin cells results in the release of an "endogenous inhibitor" that suppresses I(Ca). The inhibition is due to the secretion of ATP, which is stored at high concentrations in secretory granules and is coreleased with catecholamines upon stimulation. The ATP exerts its actions through P(2 gamma) purinoceptors and inhibits both N- and P/Q-type Ca (2+) channels in a voltage-dependent manner but with different efficacies. Overall, we have identified and characterized a negative feedback pathway that may serve as an important regulatory mechanism for catecholamine secretion in chromaffin cells.
The mu-opioid receptor is an autoreceptor on hypothalamic beta-endorphin neurons that when activated inhibits cell firing via increasing an inwardly rectifying potassium conductance. The membrane hyperpolarization to DAMGO ([D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly-ol5]-enkephalin) in beta-endorphin and other arcuate (ARC) neurons was investigated in hypothalamic slices from control and morphine-treated, ovariectomized guinea pigs. Chronic morphine treatment caused both a decreased potency (EC50 220 +/- 10 nM vs. 64 +/- 3 nM in controls) and a decreased efficacy (Vmax: -7.1 +/- 1.1 mV vs. -10.7 +/- 0.6 mV in controls) of DAMGO in a population of ARC neurons including beta-endorphin neurons. In another population of ARC neurons from morphine-treated animals, DAMGO was less potent (EC50: 110 +/- 4 nm) than in controls (EC50: 64 +/- 3nM), but there was not a significant change in the efficacy of DAMGO. Twenty percent of ARC neurons did not exhibit any signs of tolerance. The density of mu-opioid receptors labeled with the antagonist radioligand [3H]diprenorphine was found to be significantly decreased in the ARC and surrounding mediobasal hypothalamus after morphine treatment (Bmax: 217 +/- 9 vs. 276 +/- 16 fmol/mg protein in controls), which is consistent with the altered response in beta-endorphin neurons. In summary, chronic morphine treatment decreases mu-opioid receptor density and the functional coupling of mu-opioid receptors to K+ channels in ARC neurons. This expression of morphine tolerance by beta-endorphin (ARC) neurons may serve as a homeostatic mechanism to maintain opioid control of a variety of systems ranging from reproduction to motivation and reward.
In differentiated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells, various opioids exhibited a wide range of potencies (Ki) in acutely inhibiting adenylate cyclase to different extents (Imax). After exposure of the cells to opioids for 24 hr, the initially reduced cAMP content of the cells recovered toward pre-exposure levels. Withdrawal of agonist from, or addition of antagonist to, the tolerant cells rapidly increased the cAMP content to 1.5 times the basal value. Long term treatment of the cells with agonists of high acute potency, such as Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-(Me)Phe-Gly-ol and levorphanol, decreased the Bmax of the antagonist [3H]naltrexone by 80-95%, increased the Ks for GTPase stimulation 10-14-fold, and increased the Ki for adenylate cyclase inhibition 2-3-fold. On the other hand, these parameters were only marginally affected by agonists of lower acute potency, such as profadol and morphiceptin, regardless of their Imax in inhibiting adenylate cyclase. The reduction in the level of receptor binding was experimentally not dissociable from effector desensitization. Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-(Me)Phe-Gly-ol retained the characteristics of a potent agonist in inducing tolerance even under conditions of submaximal signal, produced by lower concentrations of the peptide or by pretreatment with pertussis toxin. Alkylation of receptors by beta-chlornaltrexamine, although it reduced [3H]naltrexone binding by 50%, did not significantly alter the rank order of opioid agonists based on their ability to acutely inhibit adenylate cyclase. These results show that in opioid-tolerant SH-SY5Y cells the concurrently occurring down-regulation of receptor and shifts in the concentration dependence of effector response correlate with the potency of a given opioid in producing its acute effect but not with the maximum extent of that effect.