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Interactions of the opioid and cannabinoid systems in reward: Insights from knockout studies

By Katia eBefort

Abstract

The opioid system consists of three receptors, mu, delta, and kappa, which are activated by endogenous opioid peptides (enkephalins, endorphins and dynorphins). The endogenous cannabinoid system comprises lipid neuromodulators (endocannabinoids), enzymes for their synthesis and their degradation and two well-characterized receptors, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These systems play a major role in the control of pain as well as in mood regulation, reward processing and the development of addiction. Both opioid and cannabinoid receptors are coupled to G proteins and are expressed throughout the brain reinforcement circuitry. Extending classical pharmacology, research using genetically modified mice has provided important progress in the identification of the specific contribution of each component of these endogenous systems in vivo on reward process. This review will summarize available genetic tools and our present knowledge on the consequences of gene knockout on reinforced behaviors in both systems, with a focus on their potential interactions. A better understanding of opioid-cannabinoid interactions may provide novel strategies for therapies in addicted individuals

Topics: Reward, opioid, cannabinoid, G protein-coupled receptors, genetically modified mice, Therapeutics. Pharmacology, RM1-950
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00006
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:e59edba6058a4219849aa8bd3accd0c0
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