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Characterisation and role of interactions between opioid and cannabinoid systems


Although drug abuse and addiction are really problematic in EU, only few data are available concerning the cell mechanisms that govern these processes. Hence, this research project consists in deciphering these mechanisms in the context of polydrug abuse, because it will study the interactions between opioid and cannabinoid system. Two types of interactions will be considered: direct and indirect. The first one is defined as a putative oligomerisation of cannabinoid CB1 and opioid mu receptor after chronic or acute treatment with cannabinoids and opioids, including morphine and delta-9-THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol: the psychoactive compound of cannabis).

Moreover, the consequences of oligomerisation on the receptor signal transduction will be investigated. The second type of interactions, defined as an interaction between the signalling pathways, will study the mechanisms involved in the enkephalins release by the delta-9-THC. These projects will involve expertise in cell biology and in cell signalling, brought by the researcher and expertise in behavioural pharmacology and in addiction processes brought by the host laboratory. Indeed, it will allow an easy reintegration of the researcher. Moreover, all the experiments in this project would help us to achieve a better understanding of the interactions between opioid and cannabinoid systems, and especially their plasticity during chronic treatment as observed with addicted people.

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