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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Cholecystokinin receptor-1 mediates the inhibitory effects of exogenous cholecystokinin octapeptide on cellular morphine dependence

Di Wen1, Chun-ling Ma1*, Ya-jing Zhang2, Yan-xin Meng1, Zhi-yu Ni1, Shu-jin Li1 and Bin Cong1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, Hebei Key Laboratory of Forensic Medicine, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China

2 The First Hospital of Shijiazhuang, Shijiazhuang, 050011, PR China

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BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:63  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-63

Published: 8 June 2012



Cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8), the most potent endogenous anti-opioid peptide, has been shown to regulate the processes of morphine dependence. In our previous study, we found that exogenous CCK-8 attenuated naloxone induced withdrawal symptoms. To investigate the precise effect of exogenous CCK-8 and the role of cholecystokinin (CCK) 1 and/or 2 receptors in morphine dependence, a SH-SY5Y cell model was employed, in which the μ-opioid receptor, CCK1/2 receptors, and endogenous CCK are co-expressed.


Forty-eight hours after treating SH-SY5Y cells with morphine (10 μM), naloxone (10 μM) induced a cAMP overshoot, indicating that cellular morphine dependence had been induced. The CCK receptor and endogenous CCK were up-regulated after chronic morphine exposure. The CCK2 receptor antagonist (LY-288,513) at 1–10 μM inhibited the naloxone-precipitated cAMP overshoot, but the CCK1 receptor antagonist (L-364,718) did not. Interestingly, CCK-8 (0.1-1 μM), a strong CCK receptor agonist, dose-dependently inhibited the naloxone-precipitated cAMP overshoot in SH-SY5Y cells when co-pretreated with morphine. The L-364,718 significantly blocked the inhibitory effect of exogenous CCK-8 on the cAMP overshoot at 1–10 μM, while the LY-288,513 did not. Therefore, the CCK2 receptor appears to be necessary for low concentrations of endogenous CCK to potentiate morphine dependence in SH-SY5Y cells. An additional inhibitory effect of CCK-8 at higher concentrations appears to involve the CCK1 receptor.


This study reveals the difference between exogenous CCK-8 and endogenous CCK effects on the development of morphine dependence, and provides the first evidence for the participation of the CCK1 receptor in the inhibitory effects of exogenous CCK-8 on morphine dependence.

Cholecystokinin octapeptide; CCK1 receptor; CCK2 receptor; Morphine; Cellular dependence; cAMP overshoot