Opioid-receptor mRNA expression in the rat CNS: anatomical and functional implications

Trends Neurosci. 1995 Jan;18(1):22-9. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(95)93946-u.


The cloning of the opioid receptors has profoundly affected our understanding of opioid-receptor expression, regulation and function. This review focuses on the impact that cloning has had on our understanding of opioid-receptor anatomy, and provides broad anatomical maps of the three opioid-receptor mRNAs in relation to their binding sites. In addition, three model anatomical systems, the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine systems, the hypothalamic neuroendocrine axes, and the ascending and descending pain pathways, have been highlighted to discuss issues of receptor transport, trafficking and pre- versus postsynaptic localization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Central Nervous System / chemistry*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Clone Cells
  • Narcotics / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Opioid / analysis*
  • Receptors, Opioid / genetics
  • Receptors, Opioid / physiology


  • Narcotics
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Opioid