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Type: Journal article
Title: Opioid activation of toll-like receptor 4 contributes to drug reinforcement
Author: Hutchinson, M.
Northcutt, A.
Hiranita, T.
Wang, X.
Lewis, S.
Thomas, J.
van Steeg, K.
Kopajtic, T.
Loram, L.
Sfregola, C.
Galer, E.
Miles, N.
Bland, S.
Amat, J.
Rozeske, R.
Maslanik, T.
Chapman, T.
Strand, K.
Fleshner, M.
Bachtell, R.
et al.
Citation: The Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; 32(33):11187-11200
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0270-6474
Statement of
M. R. Hutchinson... J. Thomas, K. van Steeg... A. A. Somogyi... et al.
Abstract: Opioid action was thought to exert reinforcing effects solely via the initial agonism of opioid receptors. Here, we present evidence for an additional novel contributor to opioid reward: the innate immune pattern-recognition receptor, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and its MyD88-dependent signaling. Blockade of TLR4/MD2 by administration of the nonopioid, unnatural isomer of naloxone, (+)-naloxone (rats), or two independent genetic knock-outs of MyD88-TLR4-dependent signaling (mice), suppressed opioid-induced conditioned place preference. (+)-Naloxone also reduced opioid (remifentanil) self-administration (rats), another commonly used behavioral measure of drug reward. Moreover, pharmacological blockade of morphine-TLR4/MD2 activity potently reduced morphine-induced elevations of extracellular dopamine in rat nucleus accumbens, a region critical for opioid reinforcement. Importantly, opioid-TLR4 actions are not a unidirectional influence on opioid pharmacodynamics, since TLR4−/− mice had reduced oxycodone-induced p38 and JNK phosphorylation, while displaying potentiated analgesia. Similar to our recent reports of morphine-TLR4/MD2 binding, here we provide a combination of in silico and biophysical data to support (+)-naloxone and remifentanil binding to TLR4/MD2. Collectively, these data indicate that the actions of opioids at classical opioid receptors, together with their newly identified TLR4/MD2 actions, affect the mesolimbic dopamine system that amplifies opioid-induced elevations in extracellular dopamine levels, therefore possibly explaining altered opioid reward behaviors. Thus, the discovery of TLR4/MD2 recognition of opioids as foreign xenobiotic substances adds to the existing hypothesized neuronal reinforcement mechanisms, identifies a new drug target in TLR4/MD2 for the treatment of addictions, and provides further evidence supporting a role for central proinflammatory immune signaling in drug reward.
Keywords: Nucleus Accumbens
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Mice, Transgenic
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
Analgesics, Opioid
Narcotic Antagonists
Self Administration
Drug Administration Routes
Analysis of Variance
Conditioning, Operant
Pain Threshold
Reaction Time
Signal Transduction
Protein Binding
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Models, Molecular
Time Factors
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
Reinforcement, Psychology
Rights: Copyright © 2012 the authors. Authors grant JNeurosci a license to publish their work and copyright remains with the author. Material published from 2010 to 2014 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-NC-SA).
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0684-12.2012
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Pharmacology publications

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