Mice lacking the μ-opioid receptor gene have been developed by a gene knockout procedure. In this study, the activity of opioid receptor coupled G-proteins was examined to investigate whether there is a change in the extent of coupling for μ-, δ-, and κ-opioid receptors in μ-opioid receptor knockout mice. Selective agonists of μ- (DAMGO), δ- (DPDPE), and κ- (U-69,593) opioid receptors stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding in the caudate putamen and cortex of wild-type mice. In contrast, only U-69,593 stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding in these regions of μ-opioid receptor knockout mice. These results confirmed the absence of G-protein activation by a μ-opioid receptor agonist in μ-opioid receptor knockout mice, and demonstrated that coupling of the κ-opioid receptor to G-proteins is preserved in these mice. However, G-protein activation by the δ-opioid receptor agonist, DPDPE, was reduced in the μ-opioid receptor knockout mice, at least in the brain regions studied using autoradiography. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
- G-Protein coupling
- κ-Opioid receptor
- μ-Opioid receptor knockout mice