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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Mar 2023 - 17 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Mar 09

J Neurosci


Opioid Receptors Modulate Firing and Synaptic Transmission in the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Thalamus.


Hou G, Jiang S, Chen G, Deng X, Li F, Xu H, Chen B, Zhu Y


The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) is involved in drug addiction-related behaviors, and morphine is a widely used opioid for the relief of severe pain. Morphine acts through opioid receptors, but the function of opioid receptors in the PVT has not been fully elucidated. Here, we used electrophysiology to study neuronal activity and synaptic transmission in the PVT of male and female mice. Activation of opioid receptors suppresses the firing and inhibitory synaptic transmission of PVT neurons in brain slices. On the other hand, the involvement of opioid modulation is reduced after chronic morphine exposure, probably due to desensitization and internalization of opioid receptors in the PVT. Overall, the opioid system is essential for the modulation of PVT activities.Opioid receptors modulate the activities and synaptic transmission in the PVT by suppressing the firing rate and inhibitory synaptic inputs. These modulations were largely diminished after chronic morphine exposure.