Mu opioid receptor regulation and opiate responsiveness

AAPS J. 2005 Oct 19;7(3):E587-91. doi: 10.1208/aapsj070360.


Opiate drugs such as morphine are well known for their ability to produce potent analgesia as well as such unwanted side effects as tolerance, physical dependence, respiratory suppression and constipation. Opiates act at opioid receptors, which belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. The mechanisms governing mu opioid receptor (muOR) regulation are of particular interest since morphine and other clinically important analgesics produce their pharmacological effects through this receptor. Here we review recent advances in understanding how opioid receptor regulation can impart differential agonist efficacy produced in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / agonists*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / physiology*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu