I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Feb 2023 - 10 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Feb 10

Sci Adv




Editor's Pick

Coordinated activity of a central pathway drives associative opioid analgesic tolerance.


Hou Y, Zou G, Wang X, Guo H, Ma X, Cheng X, Xie Z, Zuo X, Xia J, Mao H, Yuan M, Chen Q, Cao P, Yang Y, Zhang L, Xiong W


Opioid analgesic tolerance, a root cause of opioid overdose and misuse, can develop through an associative learning. Despite intensive research, the locus and central pathway subserving the associative opioid analgesic tolerance (AOAT) remains unclear. Using a combination of chemo/optogenetic manipulation with calcium imaging and slice physiology, here we identify neuronal ensembles in a hierarchically organized pathway essential for AOAT. The association of morphine-induced analgesia with an environmental condition drives glutamatergic signaling from ventral hippocampus (vHPC) to dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) cholecystokininergic (CCKergic) neurons. Excitation of CCKergic neurons, which project and release CCK to basolateral amygdala (BLA) glutamatergic neurons, relays AOAT signal through inhibition of BLA μ-opioid receptor function, thereby leading to further loss of morphine analgesic efficacy. This work provides evidence for a circuit across different brain regions distinct for opioid analgesic tolerance. The components of this pathway are potential targets to treat opioid overdose and abuse.