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Treskatsch, Sascha; Feldheiser, Aarne; Shaqura, Mohammed; Dehe, Lukas; Habazettl, Helmut; Röpke, Torsten K.; Shakibaei, Mehdi; Schäfer, Michael; Spies, Claudia D. and Mousa, Shaaban A. (2016): Cellular localization and adaptive changes of the cardiac delta opioid receptor system in an experimental model of heart failure in rats. In: Heart and Vessels, Vol. 31, No. 2: pp. 241-250

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The role of the cardiac opioid system in congestive heart failure (CHF) is not fully understood. Therefore, this project investigated the cellular localization of delta opioid receptors (DOR) in left ventricle (LV) myocardium and adaptive changes in DOR and its endogenous ligand, the precursor peptide proenkephalin (PENK), during CHF. Following IRB approval, DOR localization was determined by radioligand binding using [H-3]Naltrindole and by double immunofluorescence confocal analysis in the LV of male Wistar rats. Additionally, 28 days following an infrarenal aortocaval fistula (ACF) the extent of CHF and adaptions in left ventricular DOR and PENK expression were examined by hemodynamic measurements, RT-PCR, and Western blot. DOR specific membrane binding sites were identified in LV myocardium. DOR were colocalized with L-type Ca2+-channels (Ca(v)1.2) as well as with intracellular ryanodine receptors (RyR) of the sarcoplasmatic reticulum. Following ACF severe congestive heart failure developed in all rats and was accompanied by up-regulation of DOR and PENK on mRNA as well as receptor proteins representing consecutive adaptations. These findings might suggest that the cardiac delta opioid system possesses the ability to play a regulatory role in the cardiomyocyte calcium homeostasis, especially in response to heart failure.

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