Opioid tolerance remains a challenging problem, which limits prolonged drug usage in clinics. Previous studies have shown a fundamental role of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β submit (PDGFRβ) in morphine tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of spinal PDGFRβ activation in morphine tolerance.
Rats were treated with morphine for 7 days and the effect of drug was evaluated by tail-flick latency test. By using Western blot and real-time PCR, the interaction between μ opioid receptor (MOR) and PDGFRβ in microglia activation, as well as related signaling pathways during morphine tolerance were investigated.
Chronic PDGFRβ agonist could induce microglia activation in spinal cord and decrease the analgesic effect of morphine. PDGFRβ inhibitor suppressed microglia activation during the development of morphine tolerance. Furthermore, antagonizing MOR could effectively inhibit the phosphorylations of PDGFRβ and JNK. Blocking PDGFRβ had no influence on JNK signaling, while JNK inhibitor could decrease the phosphorylation of PDGFRβ.