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

Dual signal transduction through delta opioid receptors in a transfected human T-cell line.

Opiates are known to function as immunomodulators, in part by effects on T cells. However, the signal transduction pathways mediating the effects of opiates on T cells are largely undefined. To determine whether pathways that regulate free intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) and/or cAMP are affected by opiates acting through delta-type opioid receptors (DORs), a cDNA encoding the neuronal DOR was expressed in a stably transfected Jurkat T-cell line. The DOR agonists, deltorphin and [D-Ala2, D-Leu5]-enkephalin (DADLE), elevated [Ca2+]i, measured by flow cytofluorometry using the calcium-sensitive dye, Fluo-3. At concentrations from 10(-11)-10(-7) M, both agonists increased [Ca2+]i from 60 nM to peak concentrations of 400 nM in a dose-dependent manner within 30 sec (ED50 of approximately 5 x 10(-9) M). Naltrindole, a selective DOR antagonist, abolished the increase in [Ca2+]i, and pretreatment with pertussis toxin was also effective. To assess the role of extracellular calcium, cells were pretreated with EGTA, which reduced the initial deltorphin-induced elevation of [Ca2+]i by more than 50% and eliminated the second phase of calcium mobilization. Additionally, the effect of DADLE on forskolin-stimulated cAMP production was determined. DADLE reduced cAMP production by 70% (IC50 of approximately equal to 10(-11) M), and pertussis toxin inhibited the action of DADLE. Thus, the DOR expressed by a transfected Jurkat T-cell line is positively coupled to pathways leading to calcium mobilization and negatively coupled to adenylate cyclase. These studies identify two pertussis toxin-sensitive, G protein- mediated signaling pathways through which DOR agonists regulate the levels of intracellular messengers that modulate T-cell activation.[1]


  1. Dual signal transduction through delta opioid receptors in a transfected human T-cell line. Sharp, B.M., Shahabi, N.A., Heagy, W., McAllen, K., Bell, M., Huntoon, C., McKean, D.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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