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The opioid growth factor (OGF) is an endogenous peptide that binds to the nuclear-associated receptor (OGFr), and plays a significant role in the proliferation of developing, renewing, and healing tissues. The receptor is widely expressed in a variety of organs, however its distribution in the brain remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the distribution of OGFr in different brain regions of male heterozygous (-/+ Lepr db/J), non -diabetic mice and determined the localization of the receptor in three major brain cell types, astrocytes, microglia, and neurons. Immunofluorescence imaging revealed that the highest number of OGFr was in hippocampal CA3 subregion followed by primary motor cortex, hippocampal CA2, thalamus, caudate and hypothalamus in a descending order. Double immunostaining revealed receptor colocalization with neurons and little or no colocalization in microglia and astrocytes. The highest percentage of OGFr positive neurons was identified in the CA3. Hippocampal CA3 neurons play an important role in memory processing, learning and behavior, and motor cortex neurons are important for muscle movement. However, the significance of the OGFr receptor in these brain regions and its relevance in diseased conditions are not known. Our findings provide a basis for understanding the cellular target and interaction of the OGF- OGFr pathway in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and stroke where hippocampus and cortex have an important role. This foundational data may also be useful in drug discovery to modulate OGFr by opioid receptor antagonist in various CNS diseases. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Zainab Y Kareem, Patricia J McLaughlin, Rashmi Kumari. Opioid growth factor receptor: Anatomical distribution and receptor colocalization in neurons of the adult mouse brain. Neuropeptides. 2023 Jun;99:102325

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PMID: 36812665

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