, 2011), the authors find that spinal delivery of the δ ligand deltorphin I diminished morphine actions, consistent with an inhibitory modulation
of morphine analgesia. The opioid field has long had controversies and data that appear contradictory, and the role of δ systems in morphine Sirolimus concentration action is no exception. Soon after their discovery, enkephalins, endogenous DOR ligands, were shown to be potent analgesics given either spinally or supraspinally. Furthermore, Porreca and coworkers (Porreca et al., 1987) demonstrated that δ ligands given supraspinally, but not spinally, potentiated morphine analgesia in naive and tolerant mice. Thus, δ drugs can both potentiate and diminish morphine analgesia. A number of potential explanations for these conflicting results are possible, including the site of action (i.e., spinal versus
supraspinal), since potentiation was previously seen only supraspinally while the decreased effect in the current paper was documented at the spinal level. However, it clearly shows the complexity of opioid systems and the need to reconcile a range of findings. How DORs might influence morphine tolerance has been debated. Is the effect mediated through independent, but interacting, neuronal circuits or by a direct molecular interaction between the receptors? The possibility of a direct interaction arose with the demonstration of heterodimerization of MORs and DORs and the demonstration that chronic morphine administration upregulates these heterodimers (Gupta www.selleck.co.jp/products/E7080.html et al., 2010). In the current issue, He and colleagues (He et al., 2011) extend these findings, building upon a strong foundation of work on opioid receptor dimerization and trafficking (Gupta et al., 2010, van Rijn et al., 2010 and Von
Zastrow, 2010). A role of μ/δ heterodimers in modulating morphine actions requires their coexpression in a single cell, a concept that is controversial. 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase It had long been accepted that MORs and DORs are coexpressed in small dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, but recent work documenting the limited selectivity of many of the earlier antisera used to map DORs and the inability to observe a fluorescent-tagged DOR in the small dorsal root ganglia neurons containing MOR-1 raised important questions about this concept. With these results, the question was recently revisited and evidence presented to support their coexpression in these neurons (Wang et al., 2010). This work is further buttressed by additional studies in the current paper. However, we are still left with the question of why the GFP-tagged DOR-1 was not visualized in these neurons. He et al. (2011) further propose that activation of DORs within the μ/δ heterodimer leads to the degradation of the MORs and a diminished response, as opposed to the recycling normally seen (Von Zastrow, 2010). In the paper, they presented strong evidence for the existence of the heterodimers and the trafficking, both in cell lines and in tissue.