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Emerging roles of microRNAs in morphine tolerance

Authors Huang J, Wang J, Guo Q, Zou W

Received 14 September 2018

Accepted for publication 25 March 2019

Published 10 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1139—1147

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S187592

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn


Jiangju Huang, Jian Wang, Qulian Guo, Wangyuan Zou

Department of Anesthesiology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Morphine is commonly used in clinical management to alleviate moderate-to-severe pain. However, prolonged and repeated use of morphine leads to tolerance. Morphine tolerance is a challenging clinical problem that limits its clinical application in pain treatment. The mechanisms underlying morphine tolerance are still not completely understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs containing 18∼22 nucleotides that modulate gene expression in a post-transcriptional manner, and their dysregulation causes various diseases. miRNAs bind to the 3ʹ-UTR (untranslated region) of target gene mRNA, inhibiting or destabilizing translation of the transcripts. Morphine causes differential miRNA upregulation or downregulation. This review will present evidence for the contribution of miRNAs to tolerance of the antinociception effect of opioids.

Keywords: microRNA, morphine tolerance, MOR, β-arrestin 2, CaMKII/NMDAR

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