Jennifer L. Whistler

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How do drugs of abuse modify neural circuitry and thereby lead to addictive behaviour? As for many forms of experience-dependent plasticity, modifications in glutamatergic synaptic transmission have been suggested to be particularly important. Evidence of such changes in response to in vivo administration of drugs of abuse is lacking, however. Here we show(More)
Opiate analgesia, tolerance, and addiction are mediated by drug-induced activation of the mu opioid receptor. A fundamental question in addiction biology is why exogenous opiate drugs have a high liability for inducing tolerance and addiction while native ligands do not. Studies indicate that highly addictive opiate drugs such as morphine are deficient in(More)
micro-Opioid receptor (MOR) desensitization and endocytosis have been implicated in tolerance and dependence to opioids. The efficiency of each process is known to be agonist dependent; however, it is not known what determines the relative efficiency of various agonists at either process. In the present study, homologous MOR desensitization in locus(More)
Morphine is unusual in its failure to promote robust desensitization and endocytosis of the mu opioid receptor (MOR), processes that for many receptors contribute directly to tolerance. This apparent paradox has led us to revise the idea that receptor desensitization and endocytosis are solely responsible for tolerance and withdrawal to morphine, and(More)
Following activation, most G protein coupled receptors undergo regulation by a cascade of events that promote receptor desensitization and endocytosis. Following endocytosis, receptors can then be recycled to the plasma membrane, retained in an intracellular compartment, or targeted for degradation. For receptors that are recycled, like the mu opioid(More)
Adaptor and scaffolding proteins determine the cellular targeting, the spatial, and thereby the functional association of G protein-coupled seven-transmembrane receptors with co-receptors, transducers, and downstream effectors and the adaptors determine post-signaling events such as receptor sequestration through interactions, mainly with the C-terminal(More)
Aberrant dopaminergic signaling is a critical determinant in multiple psychiatric disorders, and in many disease states, dopamine receptor number is altered. Here we identify a molecular mechanism that selectively targets D2 receptors for degradation after their activation by dopamine. The degradative fate of D2 receptors is determined by an interaction(More)
Recycling of the mu opioid receptor to the plasma membrane after endocytosis promotes rapid resensitization of signal transduction, whereas targeting of the delta opioid receptor (DOR) to lysosomes causes proteolytic down-regulation. We identified a protein that binds preferentially to the cytoplasmic tail of the DOR as a candidate heterotrimeric(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Although GPR55 is potently activated by the endogenous lysophospholipid, L-alpha-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), it is also thought to be sensitive to a number of cannabinoid ligands, including the prototypic CB1 receptor antagonists AM251 and SR141716A (Rimonabant). In this study we have used a range of functional assays to compare(More)
The utility of morphine for the treatment of chronic pain is hindered by the development of tolerance to the analgesic effects of the drug. Morphine is unique among opiates in its ability to activate the mu opioid receptor (MOR) without promoting its desensitization and endocytosis. Here we demonstrate that [D-Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)-ol] enkephalin (DAMGO)(More)