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Shahid Husain, Gregory I. Liou, Craig E. Crosson; Opioid Receptor Activation: Suppression of Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Production of TNF-α in the Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(5):2577-2583. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5629.
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The detrimental role of TNF-α in ischemia-induced tissue damage is known. The authors study examined whether opioid receptor activation alters TNF-α levels in the postischemic retina.
Retinal ischemia was induced by raising the intraocular pressure above systolic blood pressure (155–160 mm Hg) for 45 minutes. Rats were pretreated with the opioid receptor agonist morphine (1 mg/kg; intraperitoneally) before injury. Selected animals were pretreated with the opioid antagonist naloxone (3 mg/kg; intraperitoneally). Human optic nerve head (ONH) astrocytes and rat microglial cells were treated with morphine (0.1–1 μM) for 24 hours and then treated with 10 μg/mL or 30 ng/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. TNF-α was measured by ELISA. Opioid receptor subtypes in astrocytes and microglia were determined by Western blot analysis.
There was a time-dependent increase in TNF-α production; the maximum production occurred at 4 hours after ischemia and localized to the inner retinal regions. Ischemia-induced TNF-α production was significantly inhibited by morphine. In astrocytes and microglia, LPS triggered a robust increase in the release of TNF-α, which was significantly inhibited (P < 0.05) by morphine. Naloxone reversed the morphine-induced suppression of TNF-α production in vivo and in vitro. Both ONH astrocytes and microglial cells expressed δ-, κ-, and μ-opioid receptor subtypes.
These data provide evidence that the production of TNF-α after ischemia/reperfusion injury is an early event and that opioid receptor activation reduces the production of TNF-α. Immunohistochemistry data and in vitro studies provide evidence that ONH astrocytes and microglial cells are the primary sources for the TNF-α production under ischemic/inflammatory conditions. Activation of one or more opioid receptors can reduce ischemic/reperfusion injury by the suppression of TNF-α production.
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