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

Microiontophoretic application of muramyl-dipeptide upon single cortical, hippocampal and hypothalamic neurons in rats.

Muramyl-dipeptide (MDP), a metabolite of bacterial cell walls, has a variety of biological effects, including the induction of acute phase serum glycoproteins and fever, and the promotion of slow wave sleep. Muramyl-dipeptide and other products, derived from immune responses, may act directly in the CNS to recruit secondary autonomic and endocrine responses to disease. To test this hypothesis the properties of single neuron discharges, following local application (microiontophoresis) of MDP within the somatosensory cortex, the dorsal hippocampus and the medial basal hypothalamus were studied in rats. The results obtained from cortical (N = 30), hippocampal (N = 28) and hypothalamic (N = 32) neurons demonstrated a direct effect of MDP upon all three regions of the brain. In addition, MDP modified the responses of these same neurons to morphine. These results support a role of MDP in the process of neuro-immune modulation and further demonstrate an interaction between lymphoid agents and opioids in the CNS.[1]


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