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We previously demonstrated that chronic treatment of rats with the mu-opioid receptor agonist sufentanil induced pharmacological tolerance associated with mu-opioid receptor desensitization and down-regulation. Administration of the calcium channel blocker nimodipine during chronic treatment with sufentanil prevented mu-opioid receptor down-regulation,(More)
The aim of this study was to analyse the biochemical and behavioural consequences of chronic treatment with opioid receptor antagonists in rats. We have evaluated the respiratory depressant and antinociceptive effects of the mu-opioid agonist sufentanil, the density of brain mu-opioid receptors, and the expression of G-protein-coupled receptor kinases and(More)
The changes in cerebral dihydropyridine (DHP)-sensitive Ca++ channels (L-type) associated with tolerance and supersensitivity to the antinociceptive effect of the mu-opioid receptor agonist sufentanil were analyzed in rats. The tail-flick test was used to assess the nociceptive threshold. DHP binding and autoradiographic assays were performed with(More)
We have analyzed by radiometric procedures in rat central nervous system the changes in the properties of mu-opioid receptors associated with tolerance and supersensitivity to the opioid agonist sufentanil. This study has used [3H]-[D-Ala2,MePhe4,Gly- (ol)5(2)]-enkephalin, a highly selective ligand, to label mu-opioid receptors in both membranes and tissue(More)
Transforming growth factors-beta (TGF-betas) signal through type I and type II serine-threonine kinase receptor complexes. During ligand binding, type II receptors recruit and phosphorylate type I receptors, triggering downstream signaling. BAMBI [bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and activin membrane-bound inhibitor] is a transmembrane pseudoreceptor(More)
The study was aimed at elucidating the possible participation of L-type Ca2+ channel in the acute analgesic effect of an opiate and the development of tolerance to this action. Sufentanil, a selective mu agonist, and two dihydropyridines, the Ca2+ antagonist nimodipine and the Ca2+ agonist Bay K 8644, were selected. The tailflick test was used to assess the(More)
Sustained administration of opioids leads to antinociceptive tolerance, while prolonged association of L-type Ca2+ channel blockers (e.g. nimodipine) with opioids results in increased antinociceptive response. Herein, we investigated the changes in mu-opioid receptor signalling underlying this shift from analgesic tolerance to supersensitivity. Thus, the(More)
Several studies open up the possibility that chronic exposure to opioid drugs in the CNS would interfere with learning and memory through a neurotoxic effect related to activation of apoptotic pathways. Here, we have analyzed the effects of prolonged heroin administration on sensorimotor and cognitive performance in mice, as well as the associated changes(More)
OBJECTIVES This study analyzes the effects of prolonged administration of methadone and withdrawal on sensorimotor and cognitive performance in mice and explores the associated changes in brain expression of proteins regulating the extrinsic (FasL, Fas, and caspase-8) and the mitochondrial (Bcl-2, Bcl-x(L), Bad, and Bax) apoptotic pathways. RESULTS Our(More)
The ability of nimodipine, a dihydropyridine calcium antagonist, to reduce the daily dose of oral morphine in cancer patients who had developed dose escalation, was tested in 54 patients under randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions. We selected patients that required at least two successive increments of morphine to maintain pain relief. A(More)