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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 17

Int J Mol Sci



Hypertensive Effect of Downregulation of the Opioid System in Mouse Model of Different Activity of the Endogenous Opioid System.


Skiba DS, Szczepaniak P, Siedliński M, Poznański P, Łazarczyk M, Jaskuła K, Religa P, Sacharczuk M, Gaciong Z
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 17; 22(8).
PMID: 33920718.


The opioid system is well-known for its role in modulating nociception and addiction development. However, there are premises that the endogenous opioid system may also affect blood pressure. The main goal of the present study was to determine the impact of different endogenous opioid system activity and its pharmacological blockade on blood pressure. Moreover, we examined the vascular function in hyper- and hypoactive states of the opioid system and its pharmacological modification. In our study, we used two mouse lines which are divergently bred for high (HA) and low (LA) swim stress-induced analgesia. The obtained results indicated that individuals with low endogenous opioid system activity have higher basal blood pressure compared to those with a hyperactive opioid system. Additionally, naloxone administration only resulted in the elevation of blood pressure in HA mice. We also showed that the hypoactive opioid system contributes to impaired vascular relaxation independent of endothelium, which corresponded with decreased guanylyl cyclase levels in the aorta. Together, these data suggest that higher basal blood pressure in LA mice is a result of disturbed mechanisms in vascular relaxation in smooth muscle cells. We believe that a novel mechanism which involves endogenous opioid system activity in the regulation of blood pressure will be a promising target for further studies in hypertension development.