We previously demonstrated that chronic morphine induces a change in G protein coupling by the mu opioid receptor (MOR) from Gi/o to Gs, concurrent with the instatement of an interaction between Gbetagamma and adenylyl cyclase types II and IV. These two signaling changes confer excitatory effects on the cell in place of the typical inhibition by opioids and are associated with morphine tolerance and dependence. Both signaling changes and these behavioral manifestations of chronic morphine are attenuated by cotreatment with ultra-low-dose naloxone. In the present work, using striatum from chronic morphine-treated rats, we isotyped the Gbeta within Gs and Go heterotrimers that coupled to MOR and compared these to the Gbeta isotype of the Gbetagamma that interacted with adenylyl cyclase II or IV after chronic morphine treatment. Isotyping results show that chronic morphine causes a Gs heterotrimer associated with MOR to release its Gbetagamma to interact with adenylyl cyclase. These data suggest that the switch to Gs coupling by MOR in response to chronic morphine, which is attenuated by ultra-low-dose opioid antagonist cotreatment, leads to a two-pronged stimulation of adenylyl cyclase utilizing both Galpha and Gbetagamma subunits of the Gs protein novel to this receptor.
(c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.