Deletion of the glutamate receptor 5 subunit of kainate receptors affects the development of morphine tolerance Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Drug Tolerance
  • Gene Deletion
  • Morphine
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid


  • Previous reports utilizing pharmacological antagonists implicate kainate receptor (KAR) activation in the development of morphine tolerance, dependence, conditioned place preference (CPP), and locomotor sensitization, but the role of glutamate receptor (GluR) 5-containing KAR in these effects remains unclear because of limited selectivity of the inhibitors employed. Therefore, we examined responses to systemic morphine treatment in mice expressing a constitutive deletion of GluR5 [GluR5 knockout (KO)]. Unlike wild-type (WT) littermates, GluR5 KO mice do not develop tolerance after repeated morphine administration by subcutaneous injection or via subcutaneous pellet implantation. In contrast, GluR5 KO mice do not differ from WT with respect to thermal or mechanical nociceptive thresholds, acute morphine antinociception, morphine disposition in the central nervous system (CNS), morphine physical dependence as revealed by naloxone-precipitated withdrawal or development of place preference and locomotor hyperresponsiveness after chronic morphine administration. It is surprising that continuous subcutaneous infusion of the GluR2/GluR5-preferring antagonist LY293558 [(3S,4aR,6R,8aR)-6-[2-(1(2)H-tetrazole-5-yl)ethyl]decahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid] decreased the number of naloxone-precipitated jumps to a similar extent in WT and GluR5 KO mice. We observed opioid-induced hypersensitivity in both groups during morphine withdrawal as demonstrated by equivalent reductions in thermal and mechanical thresholds; however, this hypersensitivity was not evident during continuous systemic morphine infusion. These data collectively indicate that KARs containing the GluR5 subunit contribute to the development of morphine tolerance without affecting nociceptive thresholds, morphine analgesia, or disposition in CNS of morphine and its metabolite morphine-3-glucuronide. In addition, constitutive deletion of GluR5 does not alter the morphine-induced increase in locomotor activity or the acquisition of morphine reward as measured by a CPP paradigm.

publication date

  • February 2009



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2682279

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1124/jpet.108.144121

PubMed ID

  • 18957577

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 579

end page

  • 87


  • 328


  • 2