Differential desensitization of pre- and postsynaptic mu opioid receptors regulating proopiomelanocortin neurons of the arcuate nucleus
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The mu opioid receptor (MOR) is the primary target of powerful opiate analgesics such as morphine and codeine. Repeated use of opiates, as may occur in patients with chronic pain, leads to the development of tolerance to the drugs' analgesic effects and may result in the development of dependence. This reduces the effectiveness of opiate-based treatments over extended periods of time, and can result in withdrawal when such a treatment is terminated. Many years of study have been dedicated to understanding the processes that lead to the development of tolerance, as an understanding of the mechanisms ...