European Journal of Pharmacology vol:385 issue:2-3 pages:239-45
It is well known that activation of the cloned kappa-opioid receptor by nanomolar concentrations of U50488H (trans-(+/-)-3, 4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-(2-[1-pyrrolidinyl]cyclohexyl-benzeneacetamide) , a selective kappa-opioid receptor agonist, leads to the opening of GIRK1 channels. In this study, we demonstrate that the cloned kappa-opioid receptor functionally couples to GIRK1/GIRK2 channels (G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K(+) channels), mimicking the probable heteromultimeric state of neuronal GIRK channels. We also show that micromolar concentrations of U50488H reduce GIRK1/GIRK2 current through direct GIRK1/GIRK2 channel block in a voltage-independent manner (IC(50)=70.28+/-3.68 microM). Similarly, it was found that propoxyphene, methadone, and naloxone also can block GIRK1/GIRK2 current. In contrast, elevated concentrations of morphine (up to 1 mM) did not cause channel block. The related inwardly rectifying K(+) channel, IRK1, was not affected by elevated concentrations of these drugs. We conclude that nanomolar concentrations of opioid receptor ligands activate GIRK1/GIRK2 channels through a receptor-mediated pathway, while micromolar concentrations of some opioid receptor ligands inhibit GIRK1/GIRK2 channels by direct channel block.