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      Opioids Induce Renal Abnormalities in Tumor-Bearing Mice


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          Background/Aims: The etiology of renal dysfunction in cancer patients is likely to be multifactorial. A large proportion of these patients receive opioid analgesics, but whether opioids contribute to renal dysfunction remains uncertain. In a murine cancer model, we examined the effects of chronic opioid administration on renal function and pathology, and the molecular mechanisms involved. Methods: C3H/HeJ mice implanted with 2472 tumor cells were treated with either morphine or hydromorphone in clinically relevant doses, or PBS (controls). Renal function was assessed by blood and urine chemistry as well as by measuring mean arterial pressure (MAP) and kidney perfusion. Pathological changes in the kidneys were examined by routine histology. Molecular changes were examined by assessing eNOS, iNOS, HO-1 and COX-2 expression in whole-kidney lysates by Western immunoblotting, and cellular colocalization of these enzymes was determined using immunofluorescence microscopy. Results:Three weeks of opioid treatment resulted in increased kidney weight, elevated BUN and proteinuria, and decreased MAP. This was accompanied by histological abnormalities including glomerular enlargement, hypercellularity, peritubular congestion, vasodilatation and tubular casts. The vasoregulatory molecules iNOS, eNOS, HO-1 and COX-2 were upregulated in the kidneys. The NOS inhibitor L-NAME prevented the morphine-induced increase in perfusion and kidney weight. Conclusions: The chronic use of clinically relevant doses of opioidsleads to structural kidney abnormalities, upregulates NOS, COX-2 and HO-1, and results in renal dysfunction in a murine model of cancer.

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          Most cited references24

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          Endothelial injury and dysfunction: role in the extension phase of acute renal failure.

          The pathophysiology of ischemic acute renal failure (ARF) involves a complex interplay between renal hemodynamics, tubular and endothelial cell injury, and inflammatory processes. A growing body of evidence supports the contribution of altered renal vascular function, especially at the microvascular level, in initiating and subsequently extending the initial tubular injury. The extension phase of ischemic ARF involves continued reduction in renal perfusion, ongoing hypoxia, and inflammatory processes that occur during reperfusion and contribute to continued tubular cell injury. Vascular endothelial cell injury and dysfunction play a vital part in this extension phase. With injury, the endothelial cell loses its ability to regulate vascular tone, perfusion, permeability and inflammation/adhesion. This loss of regulatory function has a detrimental impact upon renal function. Vascular congestion, edema formation, diminished blood flow, and infiltration of inflammatory cells have been documented in the corticomedullary junction of the kidney. However, linking their genesis to microvascular endothelial injury and dysfunction has been difficult. New diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to ischemic ARF must incorporate these finding to devise early recognition strategies and therapeutic approaches.
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            Liver and kidney toxicity in chronic use of opioids: an experimental long term treatment model.

            In this study, histopathological and biochemical changes due to chronic usage of morphine or tramadol in liver and kidney were assessed in rats. Thirty male Wistar rats (180-220 g) were included and divided into three groups. Normal saline (1 ml) was given intraperitoneally as placebo in the control group (n = 10). Morphine group (n = 10) received morphine intraperitoneally at a dose of 4, 8, 10 mg/kg/day in the first, second and the third ten days of the study, respectively. Tramadol group (n = 10), received the drug intraperitoneally at doses of 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg/day in the first, second and the third ten days of the study, respectively. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were measured in the serum. Liver and kidney specimens were evaluated by light microscopy. Serum ALT, AST, LDH, BUN and creatinin levels were significantly higher in morphine group compared to the control group. Serum LDH, BUN and creatinin levels were significantly increased in the morphine group compared to the tramadol group. The mean MDA level was significantly higher in morphine group compared to the tramadol and control groups (P < 0.05). Light microscopy revealed severe centrolobular congestion and focal necrosis in the liver of morphine and tramadol groups, but perivenular necrosis was present only in the morphine group. The main histopathologic finding was vacuolization in tubular cells in morphine and tramadol groups. Our findings pointed out the risk of increased lipid peroxidation, hepatic and renal damage due to long term use of opioids, especially morphine. Although opioids are reported to be effective in pain management, their toxic effects should be kept in mind during chronic usage.
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              Morphine stimulates vascular endothelial growth factor-like signaling in mouse retinal endothelial cells.

              Go/Gi coupled G-protein receptor mediated transactivation is critical in the activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK). Here we show that mu opioid receptor (MOR) transactivates Flk1 and platelet-derived growth factor-beta (PDGF-beta) receptors and its agonist morphine stimulates pro-angiogenic and survival-promoting signaling in mouse retinal endothelial cells (mREC). Morphine stimulates mREC proliferation in a dose dependent fashion and promotes survival to the same extent as vascular endothelial growth factor164 (VEGF164). Morphine stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) and Akt phosphorylation in a time dependent manner like VEGF in mREC. Moreover, analogous to VEGF, morphine stimulates oncogenic signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling. Morphine as well as VEGF-induced phospho-STAT3 and phospho-Flk1 immunoprecipitated with MOR-associated proteins. In addition morphine also stimulated MOR associated PDGF-beta receptor phosphorylation. Consistent with the relationship between VEGF and MOR we found that VEGF upregulates MOR protein and RNA expression in mREC. These data suggest that MOR associates and transactivates RTKs for Flk1 and PDGF-beta, which may have a compounding effect on angiogenic signaling in endothelium. Therefore, G-Protein coupled receptors including MOR provide novel targets to develop anti-angiogenic agents.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                February 2007
                12 January 2007
                : 105
                : 3
                : e80-e89
                aDivision of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, and bDivision of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, Department of Medicine; cDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Pathology and Urologic Surgery, and dDepartment of Therapeutic Radiology, University of Minnesota, Minn., USA
                98564 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2007;105:e80–e89
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 38, Pages: 1
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/98564
                Self URI (text/html): https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/98564
                Self URI (journal page): https://www.karger.com/SubjectArea/Nephrology
                Original Paper

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Kidney,Morphine,Endothelium,Hemoxygenase,Opioid,Hydromorphone,Nitric oxide
                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology
                Kidney, Morphine, Endothelium, Hemoxygenase, Opioid, Hydromorphone, Nitric oxide


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