Publication date: Available online 24 January 2014Source:Peptides Author(s): Dongmei Wang , Yuanhui Huo , Rémi Quirion , Yanguo Hong Adrenomedullin (AM) is a member of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) family and a pain-related peptide. We have shown that chronic administration of morphine (20μg) upregulates AM activity contributing to morphine tolerance. The present study investigated if AM is involved in acute morphine-induced analgesia. Single intrathecal (i.t.) injection of morphine at a dose of 5μg increased the tail-flick latency (TFL). This analgesic effect was potentiated by the co-administration of the AM receptor antagonist AM22-52 (5 and 10 nmol). Exposure of sensory ganglion culture to morphine increased AM content in the ganglia in concentration (0.33 - 10μM)- and time (10 - 240min)-dependent manners. However, treatment with morphine (3.3μM) for 30-240min did not alter AM mRNA levels in the cultured ganglia. Furthermore, exposure of ganglion cultures to morphine (3.3μM) for 30-240, but not 10, min induced an increase in AM content in the culture medium. These results reveal that a single morphine treatment potentiates post-translational change and the release of AM in sensory ganglia masking morphine-induced analgesia. Thus, targeting AM and its receptors should be considered as a novel approach to improve the analgesic potency of opiates during their acute use.