Differential postnatal development of μ-, δ- and χ-opioid binding sites in rat brain

Paola Petrillo, Alessandra Tavani, Davide Verotta, Linda E. Robson, Hans W. Kosterlitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With selective labelling techniques and analysis of saturation curves it is shown that in rat brain the concentrations of μ-, δ- and χ-binding sites increase differentially during postnatal development. There are no changes in the binding affinities. The concentration (pmol/g brain) of χ-sites are first to reach adult levels, namely between 7 and 14 days after birth. Adult levels of μ-sites are attained between 14 and 21 days after birth. The most striking finding is that development of δ-sites, which are not detectable 3 days after birth by the method used, lags markedly behind that of μ- and χ-sites. The profile of development in rat brain is compared to that found previously in mouse brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Binding affinity
  • Maximum binding capacity
  • Membrane suspension of rat brain
  • Opioid binding site
  • Postnatal development
  • μ-, δ- and χ-sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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