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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jan 2022 - 14 Jan 2022

2022 Jan 04

Neurosci Biobehav Rev

Sex Differences in Opioid Receptor Mediated Effects: Role of Androgens.


Sharp JL, Pearson T, Smith MA
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2022 Jan 04:104522.
PMID: 34995646.


An abundance of data indicates there are sex differences in endogenous opioid peptides and opioid receptors, leading to functional differences in sensitivity to opioid receptor mediated behaviors between males and females. Many of these sex differences are mediated by the effects of gonadal hormones on the endogenous opioid system. Whereas much research has examined the role of ovarian hormones on opioid receptor mediated endpoints, comparatively less research has examined the role of androgens. This review describes what is currently known regarding the influence of androgens on opioid receptor mediated endpoints and how androgens may contribute to sex differences in these effects. The review also addresses the clinical implications of androgenic modulation of opioid receptor mediated behaviors and suggests future lines of research for preclinical and clinical investigators. We conclude that further investigation into androgenic modulation of opioid receptor mediated effects may lead to new options for addressing conditions such as chronic pain and substance use disorders.