The physiologic role of the μ opioid receptor (MOR) in gut nociception, motility, and secretion is well established. To evaluate whether MOR may also be involved in controlling gut inflammation, we first showed that subcutaneous administration of selective peripheral MOR agonists, named DALDA and DAMGO, significantly reduces inflammation in two experimental models of colitis induced by administration of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) or peripheral expansion of CD4+ T cells in mice. This therapeutic effect was almost completely abolished by concomitant administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone. Evidence of a genetic role for MOR in the control of gut inflammation was provided by showing that MOR-deficient mice were highly susceptible to colon inflammation, with a 50% mortality rate occurring 3 days after TNBS administration. The mechanistic basis of these observations suggests that the anti-inflammatory effects of MOR in the colon are mediated through the regulation of cytokine production and T cell proliferation, two important immunologic events required for the development of colon inflammation in mice and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These data provide evidence that MOR plays a role in the control of gut inflammation and suggest that MOR agonists might be new therapeutic molecules in IBD.
David Philippe, Laurent Dubuquoy, Hervé Groux, Valérie Brun, Myriam Tran Van Chuoï-Mariot, Claire Gaveriaux-Ruff, Jean-Frédéric Colombel, Brigitte L. Kieffer, Pierre Desreumaux
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.