Molecular mechanisms involved in the asymmetric interaction between cannabinoid and opioid systems

Molecular mechanisms involved in the asymmetric interaction between cannabinoid and opioid systems The aim of this work was to study the mechanism of cross-modulation between cannabinoid and opioid systems for analgesia during acute and chronic exposure. Acute coadministration of ineffectual subanalgesic doses of the synthetic cannabinoid CP-55,940 (0.2 mg/kg i.p.) and morphine (2.5 mg/kg i.p.) resulted in significant antinociception. In chronic studies, a low dose of CP-55,940 (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) that per se did not induce analgesia in naive animals produced a significant degree of antinociception in rats made tolerant to morphine, whereas in rats made tolerant to CP-55,940, morphine challenge did not produce any analgesic response. To identify the mechanism of these asymmetric interactions during chronic treatment, we investigated the functional activity of cannabinoid and μ opioid receptors and their effects on the cyclic AMP (cAMP) cascade. Autoradiographic-binding studies indicated a slight but significant reduction in cannabinoid receptor levels in the hippocampus and cerebellum of morphine-tolerant rats, whereas CP-55,940-stimulated ( 35 S)GTPγS binding showed a significant decrease in receptor/G protein coupling in the limbic area. In CP-55,940 exposed rats, μ opioid receptor binding was significantly raised in the lateral thalamus and periaqueductal gray (PAG), with an increase in DAMGO-stimulated ( 35 S)GTPγS binding in the nucleus accumbens. Finally, we tested the cAMP system's responsiveness to the cannabinoid and opioid in the striatum and dorsal mesencephalon. In vivo chronic morphine did not affect CP-55,940's ability to inhibit forskolin-stimulated cAMP production in vitro and actually induced sensitization in striatal membranes. In contrast, in vivo chronic CP-55,940 desensitized DAMGO's efficacy in inhibiting forskolin-stimulated cAMP production in vitro. The alterations to the cAMP system seem to mirror the behavioral responses, indicating that the two systems may interact at the postreceptor level. This might open up new therapeutic opportunities for relief of chronic pain through cannabinoid–opioid coadministration. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychopharmacology Springer Journals

Molecular mechanisms involved in the asymmetric interaction between cannabinoid and opioid systems

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer-Verlag
Subject
Biomedicine; Psychiatry ; Pharmacology/Toxicology
ISSN
0033-3158
eISSN
1432-2072
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00213-005-0114-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this work was to study the mechanism of cross-modulation between cannabinoid and opioid systems for analgesia during acute and chronic exposure. Acute coadministration of ineffectual subanalgesic doses of the synthetic cannabinoid CP-55,940 (0.2 mg/kg i.p.) and morphine (2.5 mg/kg i.p.) resulted in significant antinociception. In chronic studies, a low dose of CP-55,940 (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) that per se did not induce analgesia in naive animals produced a significant degree of antinociception in rats made tolerant to morphine, whereas in rats made tolerant to CP-55,940, morphine challenge did not produce any analgesic response. To identify the mechanism of these asymmetric interactions during chronic treatment, we investigated the functional activity of cannabinoid and μ opioid receptors and their effects on the cyclic AMP (cAMP) cascade. Autoradiographic-binding studies indicated a slight but significant reduction in cannabinoid receptor levels in the hippocampus and cerebellum of morphine-tolerant rats, whereas CP-55,940-stimulated ( 35 S)GTPγS binding showed a significant decrease in receptor/G protein coupling in the limbic area. In CP-55,940 exposed rats, μ opioid receptor binding was significantly raised in the lateral thalamus and periaqueductal gray (PAG), with an increase in DAMGO-stimulated ( 35 S)GTPγS binding in the nucleus accumbens. Finally, we tested the cAMP system's responsiveness to the cannabinoid and opioid in the striatum and dorsal mesencephalon. In vivo chronic morphine did not affect CP-55,940's ability to inhibit forskolin-stimulated cAMP production in vitro and actually induced sensitization in striatal membranes. In contrast, in vivo chronic CP-55,940 desensitized DAMGO's efficacy in inhibiting forskolin-stimulated cAMP production in vitro. The alterations to the cAMP system seem to mirror the behavioral responses, indicating that the two systems may interact at the postreceptor level. This might open up new therapeutic opportunities for relief of chronic pain through cannabinoid–opioid coadministration.

Journal

PsychopharmacologySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 1, 2005

References

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