Research may pave the way for creating safer opioids

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Researchers may have found new answers on how to create safer opioids. Design a new opioid that bypasses the pleasurable parts of the brain but retains analgesic properties. This makes opioids one of the most effective painkillers.

In a study published in Nature How did the researchers see on October 13th? Opioid It can be very widely abused.

“We have identified the main causes of reward mediation of muopioids,” said the lead author, an anesthesiology and pain medicine instructor at UW Medicine, which examines how neural circuits affect motivated behavior. Daniel Castro says. “We have provided a blueprint for how the system works.”

They studied some of brain An important area of ​​the brain’s reward circuit, called the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine neurons project to this area of ​​the brain when you do what you find rewarding, making you feel better and want more.

“Muopioids like morphine act like lock locks on specific receptors in the brain,” said Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and analgesics at the University of Washington. “We have isolated new brain pathways in which these receptors exert powerful effects and promote rewards. Consumption behavior.. “

They found that opioid receptors are located in a part of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus, which is located behind the brain by the brain stem. They act to alter the communication between the raphe nuclei and the nucleus accumbens in the anterior part of the brain.

“This discovery was quite unexpected,” Castro said.

Bruchas said previous studies focused only on how muopioid receptors change. Dopamine transmission.

To create safe opioids, pharmaceutical companies need to bypass or create ways to bias the effects of the drug away from the dorsal raphe nucleus. Nucleus accumbens Route, Castro said.

The researchers focused on the opioid peptide receptor MOPR. When stimulated, MOPR can alter respiratory, analgesic, and rewarding behaviors, leading to substance abuse and overdose. It is the most common opioid peptide receptor involving abused opioid analgesics and opiates. Changing its function can cause painful withdrawal symptoms and promote further abuse. This is why people can’t refrain from using drugs like heroin or morphine.

Researchers were able to make this discovery using the very latest neuroscience tools and pharmacology. Tools include in vivo calcium imaging, CRISPR Cas-9 (2020 Nobel Prize-winning technology), fluorescence in situ hybridization, and optogenetics, a revolutionary approach to neuroscience.

This study opens many new ways for the system to further discover other behaviors that mediate or alleviate, and provides potentially new ways for pain-relieving opioids or other drugs.

On the other hand, the opioid epidemic has been going on for over 20 years. The first wave began with an increase in opioid prescriptions in the 1990s, with deaths from overdose involving prescription opioids. The second wave began in 2010, when heroin-related overdose deaths surged, and is now in the third wave of synthetic opioids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, deaths from overdose involving opioids such as prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) have increased more than six-fold since 1999. Overdose involving opioids killed about 50,000 people in 2019, and their deaths were associated with synthetic opioids. Bruchas Lab is working with colleagues at the UW Neurobiology Center to study addiction, pain and emotions and is actively pursuing the science behind new treatments for substance abuse and mental illness.

More than two-thirds of drug OD deaths in 2017 were associated with opioids

For more information:
Daniel C. Castro et al, the endogenous opioid circuit determines state-dependent reward consumption, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-04013-0

Quote: The study creates safer opioids (October 14, 2021) obtained on October 14, 2021 from May pave the way for

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Research may pave the way for creating safer opioids

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