Social defeat stress increases expression of μ-opioid receptor mRNA in rat ventral tegmental area

Ella M. Nikulina, Ronald P. Hammer, Klaus A. Miczek, Richard M. Kream

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prompted by previous studies linking social defeat stress to changes in opioid antinociception, we evaluated the expression of μ-opioid receptor (MOR)-encoding mRNA in selected rat brain areas as a function of this type of stress. Because opioids mediate significant regulatory activities of brain dopamine neurons, dopaminergic loci in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN) were selected for analysis. Within 30 min after social defeat stress, the level of MOR-encoding mRNA, as detected and quantified by in situ hybridization histochemistry, increased in the lateral VTA and this increase was present for at least 6 h. In contrast, defeat stress was without effect on the expression of MOR-encoding mRNA in the SN. These data suggest that stress-induced alteration of MOR-encoding mRNA expression in the VTA may be involved in the consequences of social defeat stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3015-3019
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroReport
Volume10
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 1999

Keywords

  • In situ hybridization histochemistry
  • Neural plasticity
  • Social defeat stress
  • Substantia nigra
  • Ventral tegmental area
  • μ-Opioid receptor
  • μ-Opioid receptor-encoding mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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