siRNA capsulated brain-targeted nanoparticles specifically knock down OATP2B1 in mice: a mechanism for acute morphine tolerance suppression

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 15;6:33338. doi: 10.1038/srep33338.


Regulating main brain-uptake transporter of morphine may restrict its tolerance generation, then modify its antinociception. In this study, more than 2 fold higher intracellular uptake concentrations for morphine and morphine-6-glucuronide (M6G) were observed in stable expression cells, HEK293-hOATP2B1 than HEK293-MOCK. Specifically, the Km value of morphine to OATP2B1 (57.58 ± 8.90 μM) is 1.4-time more than that of M6G (80.31 ± 21.75 μM); Cyclosporine A (CsA), an inhibitor of OATP2B1, can inhibit their intracellular accumulations with IC50 = 3.90 ± 0.50 μM for morphine and IC50 = 6.04 ± 0.86 μM for M6G, respectively. To further investigate the role of OATP2B1 in morphine brain transport and tolerance, the novel nanoparticles of DGL-PEG/dermorphin capsulated siRNA (OATP2B1) were applied to deliver siRNA into mouse brain. Along with OATP2B1 depressed, a main reduction was found for each of morphine or M6G in cerebrums or epencephalons of acute morphine tolerance mice. Furthermore, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) in mouse prefrontal cortex (mPFC) underwent dephosphorylation at Thr286. In conclusion, OATP2B1 downregulation in mouse brain can suppress tolerance via blocking morphine and M6G brain transport. These findings might help to improve the pharmacological effects of morphine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / metabolism*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Tolerance / genetics*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Morphine / metabolism*
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Morphine Derivatives / metabolism
  • Morphine Derivatives / pharmacology
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transporters / genetics*
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • CAMK2N1 protein, human
  • Morphine Derivatives
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Proteins
  • Slco2b1 protein, mouse
  • morphine-6-glucuronide
  • Morphine
  • Cyclosporine