Antagonist-induced opiate receptor upregulation in cultures of fetal mouse spinal cord-ganglion explants

Ann Tempel, Stanley M. Crain, Edith R. Peterson, Eric J. Simon, R. Suzanne Zukin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Chronic exposure of fetal mouse spinal cord-ganglion explants to the opioid antagonist naloxone (10 μM, 7 days) produced a pronounced upregulation of μ opioid receptors. The antagonist action was stereospecific, as it was produced by (-)-, but not by (+)-naloxone, and was dose-dependent. Half-maximal naloxone-induced receptor upregulation occurred after two days; receptor density was maximal at 5 days. Exposure of the explant cultures to naloxone (10 μM) in the presence of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (1 μM; a concentration which blocks >90% protein synthesis) resulted in receptor density changes that were similar to those observed in cultures exposed to naloxone alone. This finding suggests that antagonist-induced opiate receptor upregulation does not require the synthesis of new receptor molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1986


  • naloxone
  • opiate receptor
  • receptor upregulation
  • sensory ganglion
  • spinal cord
  • tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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