The opioid receptors as targets for drug abuse medication

Florence Noble, Magalie Lenoir, Nicolas Marie
Br J Pharmacol. 2015-06-26; 172(16): 3964-3979
DOI: 10.1111/bph.13190

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The endogenous opioid system is largely expressed in the brain, and both
endogenous opioid peptides and receptors are present in areas associated with
reward and motivation. It is well known that this endogenous system plays a key
role in many aspects of addictive behaviours. The present review summarizes the
modifications of the opioid system induced by chronic treatment with drugs of
abuse reported in preclinical and clinical studies, as well as the action of
opioid antagonists and agonists on the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse,
with therapeutic perspectives. We have focused on the effects of chronic
psychostimulants, alcohol and nicotine exposure. Taken together, the changes in
both opioid peptides and opioid receptors in different brain structures following
acute or chronic exposure to these drugs of abuse clearly identify the opioid
system as a potential target for the development of effective pharmacotherapy for
the treatment of addiction and the prevention of relapse.

© 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus