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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Repeated {delta}1-opioid receptor stimulation reduces {delta}2-opioid receptor responses in the SA node.

Ultra-low-dose methionine-enkephalin-arginine-phenylalanine improves vagal transmission (vagotonic) and decreases heart rate via delta(1)-opioid receptors within the sinoatrial (SA) node. Higher doses activate delta(2)-opioid receptors, interrupt vagal transmission (vagolytic), and reduce the bradycardia. Preconditioning-like occlusion of the nodal artery produced a vagotonic response that was reversed by the delta(1)-antagonist 7-benzylidenaltrexone (BNTX). The following study tested the hypothesis that extended delta(1)-opioid receptor stimulation reduces subsequent delta(2)-receptor responses. The delta(2)-agonist deltorphin II was introduced in the SA node by microdialysis to evaluate delta(2) responses before and after infusion of the delta(1)-agonist TAN-67. TAN-67 reduced the vagolytic effect of deltorphin by two-thirds. When the delta(1)-antagonist BNTX was combined with TAN-67, the deltorphin response was preserved, suggesting that attrition of the prior response was mediated by delta(1) activity. When TAN-67 was omitted in time control studies, some loss of delta(2) responses was apparent in the absence of the delta(1) treatment. This loss was also eliminated by BNTX, suggesting that the attenuation of the response after deltorphin alone was also the result of delta(1) activity. Additional studies tested TAN-67 alone in the absence of prior deltorphin. When time controls were conducted without the initial deltorphin treatment, a robust vagolytic response was observed. When TAN-67 preceded the delayed deltorphin, the vagolytic response was eroded, indicating an independent effect of TAN-67. BNTX infused afterward was unable to restore the delta(2) response. These data support the conclusion that the loss of the delta(2) response resulted from reduced delta(2) activity mediated by continued delta(1)-receptor stimulation and not the arithmetic consequence of increased competition from that same delta(1) receptor.[1]


  1. Repeated {delta}1-opioid receptor stimulation reduces {delta}2-opioid receptor responses in the SA node. Deo, S.H., Johnson-Davis, S., Barlow, M.A., Yoshishige, D., Caffrey, J.L. Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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