Targeting Cytokines for Morphine Tolerance: A Narrative Review

Author(s): Dai-Qiang Liu, Ya-Qun Zhou, Feng Gao*

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 17 , Issue 4 , 2019

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Despite its various side effects, morphine has been widely used in clinics for decades due to its powerful analgesic effect. Morphine tolerance is one of the major side effects, hindering its long-term usage for pain therapy. Currently, the thorough cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying morphine tolerance remain largely uncertain.

Methods: We searched the PubMed database with Medical subject headings (MeSH) including ‘morphine tolerance’, ‘cytokines’, ‘interleukin 1’, ‘interleukin 1 beta’, ‘interleukin 6’, ‘tumor necrosis factor alpha’, ‘interleukin 10’, ‘chemokines’. Manual searching was carried out by reviewing the reference lists of relevant studies obtained from the primary search. The searches covered the period from inception to November 1, 2017.

Results: The expression levels of certain chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines were significantly increased in animal models of morphine tolerance. Cytokines and cytokine receptor antagonist showed potent effect of alleviating the development of morphine tolerance.

Conclusion: Cytokines play a fundamental role in the development of morphine tolerance. Therapeutics targeting cytokines may become alternative strategies for the management of morphine tolerance.

Keywords: Morphine tolerance, pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, anti-inflammatory cytokines, pain, glial cells.

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Year: 2019
Page: [366 - 376]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/1570159X15666171128144441
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