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An opioid system in connective tissue: A study of Achilles tendon in the rat
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Pharmacology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Pharmacology)
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2001 (English)In: Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, ISSN 0022-1554, E-ISSN 1551-5044, Vol. 49, no 11, 1387-1395 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The occurrence of endogenous opioids and their receptors in rat achilles tendon was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), radioimmunoassay (RIA), and in vitro binding assays. The investigation focused on four enkephalins, dynorphin B, and nociceptin/orphanin FQ. Nerve fibers immunoreactive to all enkephalins (Met-enkephalin, Leu-enkephalin, Met-enkephalin-Arg-Gly-Lys, Met-enkephalin-Arg-Phe) were consistently found in the loose connective tissue and the paratenon, whereas dynorphin B and nociceptin/orphanin FQ could not be detected. The majority of enkephalin-positive nerve fibers exhibited varicosities predominantly seen in blood vessel walls. Measurable levels of Met-enkephalin-Arg-Phe and nociceptin/orphanin FQ were found in tendon tissue using RIA, whereas dynorphin B could not be detected. In addition to the endogenous opioids identified, delta -opioid receptors on nerve fibers were also detected by IHC. Binding assays to characterize the opioid binding sites showed that they were specific and saturable for [H-3]-naloxone (K-d 7.01 +/- 0.98 nM; B-max 23.52 +/- 2.23 fmol/mg protein). Our study demonstrates the occurrence of an opioid system in rat achilles tendon, which may be assumed to be present also in other connective tissues of the locomotor apparatus. This system may prove to be a useful target for pharmacological therapy in painful and inflammatory conditions by new drugs acting selectively in the periphery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 49, no 11, 1387-1395 p.
Keyword [en]
achilles tendon, connective tissue, rat, opioid peptides, enkephalins, peripheral nervous system, receptors, immunohistochemistry, radioimmunoassay, receptor binding
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-51079DOI: 10.1177/002215540104901107ISI: 000171788400007PubMedID: 11668192OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-51079DiVA: diva2:78988
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2011-03-08Bibliographically approved

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