The opioid system has important roles in controlling pain, reward and addiction, and is implicated in numerous other processes within and outside the nervous system, such as mood states, immune responses, and prenatal developmental processes. The effects of the opioid system are mediated by at least three ligands, enkephalin, endorphin, and dynorphin, which act through the opioid receptors μ, δ, and κ. In order to dissect the roles of individual components of the opioid system, mutant mice lacking single ligands or receptors are instrumental. We report here on the generation and initial characterization of a mutant mouse strain lacking pre-prodynorphin. Dynorphin 'knockout' mice are viable, healthy, and fertile and show no overt behavioral differences to wildtype littermates. Dynorphin knockout mice constitute a valuable tool for many research areas, among them research into pain, substance abuse, and epilepsy.
- Homologous targeting