Effects of single and repeated morphine administration on the prodynorphin, proenkephalin and dopamine D2 receptor gene expression in the mouse brain

Neuropeptides. 1997 Feb;31(1):24-8. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4179(97)90015-9.


Effects of single (20 mg/kg i.p.) and repeated morphine administration (increasing doses: from 10 to 50 mg/kg i.p. twice daily for 7 days) on the proenkephalin (PENK), prodynorphin (PDYN) and dopamine D2 receptor (D2) mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens and striatum of the mouse were investigated. As shown by an in situ hybridization, a single dose of morphine had no significant effect on the PDYN, PENK and D2 mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens and striatum. Repeated treatment with morphine increased the PDYN mRNA level in both those structures after 2 and 72 h. In contrast to PDYN, the PENK mRNA level was reduced in the nucleus accumbens and remained unchanged in the striatum following repeated morphine administration. Repeated morphine had no effect on the D2 mRNA level in the nucleus accumbens and striatum after 2 h, and decreased it in the nucleus accumbens after 72 h only. The above results indicate that repeated morphine leads to long-lasting upregulation of the PDYN gene expression in the mouse nucleus accumbens and striatum; on the other hand, the PENK and D2 mRNA gene expressions are either inhibited or remain unchanged, significant changes being observed in the nucleus accumbens only.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects*
  • Brain Chemistry / genetics
  • Corpus Striatum / chemistry
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Enkephalins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Morphine / pharmacology*
  • Narcotics / pharmacology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / chemistry
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Protein Precursors / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / genetics*


  • Enkephalins
  • Narcotics
  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • proenkephalin
  • Morphine
  • preproenkephalin