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  • Mu and kappa opioids modulate mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor differentiation via MAP kinases JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY Hahn, J. W., Jagwani, S., Kim, E., Rendell, V. R., He, J., Ezerskiy, L. A., Wesselschmidt, R., Coscia, C. J., Belcheva, M. M. 2010; 112 (6): 1431-1441


    As embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitors (NPs) have the potential to be used in cell replacement therapy, an understanding of the signaling mechanisms that regulate their terminal differentiation is imperative. In previous studies, we discovered the presence of functional mu opioid receptors (MOR) and kappa opioid receptors (KOR) in mouse embryonic stem cells and NPs. Here, MOR and KOR immunoreactivity was detected in NP-derived oligodendrocytes during three stages of their maturation in vitro. Moreover, we examined the modulation of retinoic acid-induced NP differentiation to astrocytes and neurons by mu, [D-ala(2), mephe(4), gly-ol(5)] enkephalin, or kappa, U69, 593, opioids. Both opioid agonists inhibited NP-derived neurogenesis and astrogenesis via their corresponding receptors as determined by immunocytochemistry. By administering selective inhibitors, we found that opioid inhibition of NP-derived astrogenesis was driven via extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK), while the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway was implicated in opioid attenuation of neurogenesis. In addition, mu and kappa opioids stimulated oligodendrogenesis from NP-derived NG2(+) oligodendrocyte progenitors via both ERK and p38 signaling pathways. Accordingly, both opioids induced ERK phosphorylation in NG2(+) cells. These results indicate that small molecules, such as MOR and KOR agonists may play a modulatory role in NP terminal differentiation.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06479.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274811500005

    View details for PubMedID 19895666

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2856797