Opioids are perhaps the most effective analgesics in medicine. However, between 1999 to 2018, over 400,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdose. Excessive opioids make breathing lethally slow and shallow, a side-effect called opioid induced respiratory depression. This doubled-edged sword has sparked the desire to develop novel therapeutics that provide opioid-like analgesia without depressing breathing. One such approach has been the design of so-called 'biased agonists' that signal through some, but not all pathways downstream of the µ-opioid receptor (MOR), the target of morphine and other opioid analgesics. This rationale stems from a study suggesting that MOR-induced ß2-arrestin dependent signaling is responsible for opioid respiratory depression, whereas adenylyl cyclase inhibition produces analgesia. To verify this important result that motivated the 'biased agonist' approach, we re-examined breathing in ß2-arrestin deficient mice and instead find no connection between ß2-arrestin and opioid respiratory depression. This result suggests that any attenuated effect of 'biased agonists' on breathing is through an as-yet defined mechanism.
The data generated in Figures 2-4 are provided in the source files.
- Kevin Yackle
- Kevin Yackle
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments were performed in accordance with national and institutional guidelines with standard precautions to minimize animal stress and the number of animals used in each experiment. All animal protocols have been approved by the UCSF 'Office of Research'.approval number AN181239.
- Allan Basbaum, University of California San Francisco, United States
© 2021, Bachmutsky et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The circadian clock orchestrates daily changes in physiology and behavior to ensure internal temporal order and optimal timing across the day. In animals, a central brain clock coordinates circadian rhythms throughout the body and is characterized by a remarkable robustness that depends on synaptic connections between constituent neurons. The clock neuron network of Drosophila, which shares network motifs with clock networks in the mammalian brain yet is built of many fewer neurons, offers a powerful model for understanding the network properties of circadian timekeeping. Here, we report an assessment of synaptic connectivity within a clock network, focusing on the critical lateral neuron (LN) clock neuron classes within the Janelia hemibrain dataset. Our results reveal that previously identified anatomical and functional subclasses of LNs represent distinct connectomic types. Moreover, we identify a small number of non-clock cell subtypes representing highly synaptically coupled nodes within the clock neuron network. This suggests that neurons lacking molecular timekeeping likely play integral roles within the circadian timekeeping network. To our knowledge, this represents the first comprehensive connectomic analysis of a circadian neuronal network.
Animals must learn through experience which foods are nutritious and should be consumed, and which are toxic and should be avoided. Enteroendocrine cells (EECs) are the principal chemosensors in the GI tract, but investigation of their role in behavior has been limited by the difficulty of selectively targeting these cells in vivo. Here, we describe an intersectional genetic approach for manipulating EEC subtypes in behaving mice. We show that multiple EEC subtypes inhibit food intake but have different effects on learning. Conditioned flavor preference is driven by release of cholecystokinin whereas conditioned taste aversion is mediated by serotonin and substance P. These positive and negative valence signals are transmitted by vagal and spinal afferents, respectively. These findings establish a cellular basis for how chemosensing in the gut drives learning about food.