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Critical Reviews™ in Neurobiology

ISSN Print: 0892-0915
ISSN Online: 2375-0014

Archives: Volume 10, 1996 to Volume 20, 2008

Critical Reviews™ in Neurobiology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevNeurobiol.v16.i4.30
pages 271-302

Morphinan Neuroprotection: New Insight into the Therapy of Neurodegeneration

Wei Zhang
Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, USA; and Department of Neurology, First Clinical Hospital, Dalian, China
Jau-Shyong Hong
Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
Hyoung-Chun Kim
College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Korea
Wanqin Zhang
Department of Physiology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China
Michelle L. Block
Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

ABSTRACT

Neuro-inflammation plays a pivotal role in numerous neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Traditional anti-inflammatory drugs have limited therapeutic use because of their narrow spectrum and severe side effects after long-term use. Morphinans are a class of compounds containing the basic morphine structure. The following review will describe novel neuroprotective effects of several morphinans in multiple inflammatory disease models. The potential therapeutic utility and underlying mechanisms of morphinan neuroprotection are discussed.