Heroin - Cell Communication

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by bassmaster97
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Heroin - Cell Communication

Heroin Cell Communication Project

Cellular and Organism ResponseHeroin slows down nerve transmission in the sensory pathways that signal pain of the spinal cord and the brain. This is a clear indication to as why heroin is such an effective pain killers. It also takes over brain centers which control coughing, breathing and intestinal motility. It also magnifies the pain killing effects of encephalin neurons by binding to mu (µ) receptors. Opiate tolerance is a homeostatic response that lessens the sensitivity of the system to make up for continued exposure to high levels of heroin or morphine. However, when the drug stops being used, the system no longer is sensitive to the “soothing” effects of the enkephalin neurons. Then the pain of withdrawing from the drug is produced.

Basics of Signal Transduction PathwayThe opioid's ligand, endorphin, first binds to the κ-Opioid receptor in the cell membrane. The activation of the κ-Opioid receptor by agonistis is coupled to the G protein which then increases phosphodiesterase activity. Then phosphodiesterase breaks down cAMP which produces and inhibitory effect in the neurons. κ-Opioid receptors also bind to inward-rectifier potassium as well as to N-type calcium ion channels. Studies have shown that agonist-induced stimulation of the κ-Opioid can result in the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases.

Signal Mechanism/LigandThe signal mechanism for the response that Heroin initiates begins with an opioid, a chemical that has effects similar to those of morphine’s, binding with the opioid receptor. In this mechanism, the opioid is the ligand.

Type of ReceptorThe κ-opioid receptor is the receptor that the opioid binds with. It is a protein that is located in the cell membrane. Not only does it help in the signal transduction of the opioid, but it also controls the effects of the heroin on the cells of the body.

Current ResearchRussia Today has reported that scientists have developed a new vaccine that could help heroin addicts get rid of their addiction. The vaccine is capable of neutralizing the heroin’s effect before the sensation reaches the brain. A group lab rats were given doses of heroin over a period of twenty-eight days, half of them were detoxified with the vaccine and the others were not. Blood samples from the two groups indicated that the heroin was almost fully stabilized in their system and had a much weaker effect on the vaccinated rats. The groundbreaking development had given hope to those who would like to quit the addictive habit, with less of the severe symptoms that come along with withdrawal.

URL for "Current Research" section: http://rt.com/usa/heroin-vaccine-help-quit-overdose-968/

Correct and Faulty MechanismsCorrect Mechanism: κ-Opioid receptor is not activated by agonistis, and it isn't coupled to the G protein which does not lead to an increase in phosphodiesterase activity. Therefore the phosphodiesterase does not break down cAMP which will not produce an inhibitory effect in the neurons. The Ca2+ channels in the membrane are open, while the K+ channels are closed. Faulty Mechanism: The activation of the κ-Opioid receptor by agonistis is coupled to the G protein which then increases phosphodiesterase activity. Then phosphodiesterase breaks down cAMP which produces and inhibitory effect in the neurons.The Ca2+ channels in the membrane are closed, while the K+ channels are open.

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By Bassel And Ishy

Heroin is an illegal, opium-based drug. Its effects include sudden changes in behavior or actions, disorientation cycles of hyper alertness followed by suddenly nodding off, a droopy appearance, and more. There are different methods used to intake the drug; either by liquid injection or fume inhaling. Endorphins, which are in the body, have the same effect as heroin except when a user intakes heroin, the amount of endorphins is at an extreme. It takes a very short time for the effect of the drug to reach the brain as it directly affects it.


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