Sinomenine protects against morphine dependence through the NMDAR1/CAMKII/CREB pathway: A possible role of astrocyte-derived exosomes

Jinying Ou, Yuting Zhou, Chan Li, Zhijie Chen, Hancheng Li, Miao Fang, Chen Zhu, Chuying Huo, Kin Lam YUNG, Jing Li, Chaohua Luo*, Zhixian Mo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Sinomenine is a nonaddictive alkaloid used to prevent morphine dependence, even thoughits mechanism isnot fully understood. Astrocytes aggravate the pathological process in their neighboring cellsthrough exosomes in central nervous system diseases. However, the effect of sinomenine on astrocyte-derived exosomes for the amelioration of morphine dependence has not been reported yet. In this study, we found that sinomenine prevented the morphine-induced conditionedplace preference in mice. Sinomenine reduced the levels of cAMP and intracellular Ca2+ in morphine-treated SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, sinomenine inhibited the expressions of p-NMDAR1/NMDAR1, p-CAMKII/CAMKII, and p-CREB/CREB in the hippocampusof morphine-dependent mice and SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, we found that sinomenine inhibitedthe morphine-induced activation of astrocytesin vivo and in vitro. Afterwards, exosomes were isolated from cultured primary astrocytes treated with phosphate buffer saline (PBS, ctl-exo), morphine (mor-exo), or morphine and sinomenine (Sino-exo). Subsequently, morphine-treated SH-SY5Y cells were treated with ctl-exo, mor-exo, and Sino-exo. Results showed that Sino-exo reduced the level of cAMP, intracellular Ca2+, and the expression of p-CAMKII/CAMKII and p-CREB/CREB in morphine-treated SH-SY5Y cells. In conclusion, we demonstrated that sinomenine exhibited protective effects against morphine dependencein vivo and in vitro through theNMDAR1/CAMKII/CREB pathway. Sinomenine-induced alterationof the function of astrocyte-derived exosomes may contribute to the antidependence effects of sinomenine in morphine dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2370
Number of pages16
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • CREB
  • Exosomes
  • Morphine
  • NMDAR1
  • Sinomenine


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