Opioids: Old Drugs for Potential New Applications

Author(s): U. Barry, Z. Zuo

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 11 , Issue 10 , 2005


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Abstract:

Opioids are commonly used analgesics in clinical practice. Three opioid receptors (μ, δ and κ) that mediate opioid effects have been identified by molecular cloning. Each type of opioid receptors consists of subtypes of receptors as suggested by pharmacological studies. Although μ opioid receptors are the major receptor to mediate the analgesic effects of opioids, δ and κ receptors are also important in anti-nociception (for example, δ and κ receptors can mediate spinal analgesia). Recently, the cytoprotective effects of opioids have been recognized. The presence of opioids during harmful events such as ischemia reduces cell injury in multiple organs including heart and brain. These effects appear to be mediated by δ receptors in most studies. A new form of cytoprotection in which a prior exposure to opioids renders protection against cell ischemia (opioid preconditioning) has been identified. In the heart, this opioid preconditioning-induced protection has

Keywords: opioids, opioid receptors, analgesia, ischemia-reperfusion injury, cardioprotection, neuroprotection, preconditioning

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Article Details

VOLUME: 11
ISSUE: 10
Year: 2005
Page: [1343 - 1350]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1381612053507459
Price: $65

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