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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To perform a qualitative analysis of the distribution of µ- and κ-opioid receptor mRNA in the forebrain and midbrain of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).

SAMPLE

8 brains of male budgerigars.

PROCEDURES

Custom-made RNA hybridization probes (RNAscope; Advanced Cell Diagnostics Inc) were used for fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) assays performed on selected fresh frozen prepared sections of brain tissue to identify µ- and κ-opioid receptor mRNA.

RESULTS

There was κ-opioid receptor mRNA present in the nucleus dorsomedialis posterior thalami, lateral striatum, mesopallium, tractus corticohabenularis et corticoseptalis, griseum et fibrosum, stratum griseum centrale, medial striatum, and area parahippocampalis. There was µ-opioid receptor mRNA present in the stratum griseum centrale, stratum opticum, dorsomedialis posterior thalami, area parahippocampalis, medial striatum, and nidopallium intermedium.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Consistent with previous studies in pigeons and domestic chicks, κ-opioid receptors were more abundant than µ-opioid receptors in the samples of the present study. The results of this study may also help explain the hyperexcitability or lack of response that can occur with administration of pure µ-opioid receptor agonists, but not κ-opioid receptor agonists. This study was not quantitative, so further research should endeavor to compare the various regions of the brain using FISH technology.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research