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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Jul 20

Mol Cell Biochem


Molecular mechanisms of morphine tolerance and dependence; novel insights and future perspectives.


Badshah I, Anwar M, Murtaza B, Khan MI


Drug addiction is a devastating condition that poses a serious burden on the society. The use of some drugs like morphine for their tremendous analgesic properties is also accompanied with developing tolerance, dependence and the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are frequently severe enough to reinforce the person in recovery to start over the use of drug again and hinder the clinical use of drugs like morphine for chronic pain. Research into opioid receptors and related molecular pathways has seen resurgence in the wake of the growing opioid epidemic. The current study provides a comprehensive scientific exploration of the molecular mechanisms and underlying signalling in morphine tolerance and dependence. It also critically evaluates current therapeutic approaches, shedding light on their efficacy and limitations, and future prospects. The graphical abstract depicts an overview of the pathways involved in the emergence of morphine-related tolerance and dependence including NMDA, Nitric oxide, and PPAR, as well as behavioural sensitization along with present and future innovative treatment strategies including stem cell therapy that have been discussed in the current manuscript.