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    The Mechanism of Opioid Tolerance

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    Observation: People who are treated for pain with morphine often need larger doses over time to inhibit their pain. This is called opioid tolerance. You laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular mechanism underlying this decrease in morphine's effects, particularly whether G-protein signaling or beta-arrestin signaling is most important. You have any experimental technique available to you. In one page, state a hypothesis on your proposed mechanism, describe an experiment(s) that would est your hypothesis, give your expected results and suggest an alternative experiment if you do not get your expected results.

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    Solution Preview

    Please find below a point form guide to address the assignment.
    The write up gives a background that sets the stage for the proposed hypothesis, experiment to test the hypothesis and the expected results.

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    The Mechanism of Opioid Tolerance

    Conceptual Framework
    Opioids and other pain killers such as morphine produce their effects through binding to the mu Opioid Receptor (MOR).
    The mu receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)
    When morphine binds to the receptor, a signal (communication via classic protein molecules at cellular level) is released for cellular mechanisms to take effect.
    Their effect is limited by development of tolerance (reduced responsiveness when the same dose of drug is taken)
    The normal sequence of G ...

    Solution Summary

    The use of opioids in pain management is limted by development of tolerance. This solution provides a guide on the mechanism of morphine tolerance and suggests an experiment that can be used to test the proposed hypothesis on morphine tolerance.
    Recent developments have also unearthed new mechanisms of tolerance that involve immunopharmacology which the student is advised to explore by reading further on the sugested references.