Delta-opioid receptor mrna expression and immunohistochemical localization in porcine ileum

David R. Brown, Sutthasinee Poonyachoti, Mark A. Osinski, Teresa R. Kowalski, Mary S. Pampusch, Robert P. Elde, Michael P. Murtaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Opiates have potent antidiarrheal actions that are mediated in part by delta-opioid receptors (DOR). We examined DOR localization within subregions of porcine ileum, a tissue analogous to human small bowel. A partial cDNA sequence for porcine DOR was obtained after reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction cloning of forebrain RNA; it encoded the end of transmembrane domain 1 through the beginning of transmembrane domain 7 and exhibited 93% nucleotide identity with human DOR. Positive signals for DOR mRNA were found in all subregions of the porcine ileal wall. With an antiserum recognizing an N-terminal epitope in murine DOR, DOR-like immunoreactivity was localized in neurons within myenteric and submucous ganglia, longitudinal and circular smooth muscle, and villous lamina propria. The DOR agonist [D-Ser2, Leu5, Thr6]enkephalin (DSLET) attenuated circular smooth muscle contractions in porcine ileum that were evoked by electrical stimulation of myenteric cholinergic neurons. These results are consistent with previous reports of the DOR-mediated neuromodulation that underlies the antipropulsive and antisecretory effects of opioids in the intestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1410
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 13 1998


  • Host defense
  • Motility
  • Opioid receptor
  • Pig
  • Small intestine

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