• Yogendra Kumar Gupta

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Up-regulation of Μ-opioid receptors in the spinal cord of morphine-tolerant rats

      Subrata Basu Ray Himanshu Gupta Yogendra Kumar Gupta

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Though morphine remains the most powerful drug for treating pain, its effectiveness is limited by the development of tolerance and dependence. The mechanism underlying development of tolerance to morphine is still poorly understood. One of the factors could be an alteration in the number of Μ-receptors within specific parts of the nervous system. However, reports on changes in the Μ-opioid receptor density in the spinal cord after chronic morphine administration are conflicting. Most of the studies have used subcutaneously implanted morphine pellets to produce tolerance. However, it does not simulate clinical conditions, where it is more common to administer morphine at intervals, either by injections or orally. In the present study, rats were made tolerant to morphine by injecting increasing doses of morphine (10-50 mg/kg, subcutaneously) for five days.In vitro tissue autoradiography for localization of Μ-receptor in the spinal cord was done using [3H]-DAMGO. As compared to the spinal cord of control rats, the spinal cord of tolerant rats showed an 18.8% increase or up-regulation in the density of Μ-receptors in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn. This up-regulation of Μ-receptors after morphine tolerance suggests that a fraction of the receptors have been rendered desensitized, which in turn could lead to tolerance

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