Dual regulation of δ-opioid receptor function by arachidonic acid metabolites in rat peripheral sensory neurons

Laura C. Sullivan, Kelly A. Berg, William P. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The regulation of opioid receptor system function in peripheral sensory neurons is not well understood. Opioid agonist efficacy to inhibit nociceptor function and to promote antinociception is generally weak under basal conditions and frequently no response occurs. However, in response to a cyclooxygenasedependent metabolite of arachidonic acid (AA) after exposure to inflammatory mediators, such as bradykinin (BK) or exogenous AA, peripheral opioid receptor systems become much more responsive to opioid agonists. In this study, we examined the time course for the induction and maintenance of functional competence of the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) system in adult rat nociceptors in culture and in vivo. We found that the responsive state of DOR after pretreatment with BK or exogenous AA is transient (30-60 minutes) and persists for 15-30 minutes after a 15-minute exposure of nociceptors to BK or AA. Interestingly, whereas functional competence of the DOR system could be reinduced with a second application of BK 60 minutes after the first, responsiveness of the DOR system could not be reinduced after an initial exposure to AA. This nonresponsive state of DOR after exogenous AA was mediated by a lipoxygenase (LOX)-dependent metabolite of AA. Intraplantar carrageenan also produced transient DOR functional competence and responsiveness was also reinduced by inhibition of LOX. Thus, the DOR system expressed by peripheral sensory neurons is under dual regulation by cyclooxygenase- and LOX-dependent metabolites of AA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual regulation of δ-opioid receptor function by arachidonic acid metabolites in rat peripheral sensory neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this