Effect of KEPI (Ppp1r14c) deletion on morphine analgesia and tolerance in mice of different genetic backgrounds: when a knockout is near a relevant quantitative trait locus

J. Drgonova, D. B. Zimonjic, F. S. Hall, G. R. Uhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We previously identified KEPI as a morphine-regulated gene using subtractive hybridization and differential display PCR. Upon phosphorylation by protein kinase C, KEPI becomes a powerful inhibitor of protein phosphatase 1. To gain insights into KEPI functions, we created KEPI knockout (KO) mice on mixed 129S6×C57BL/6 genetic backgrounds. KEPI maps onto mouse chromosome 10 close to the locus that contains the μ-opioid receptor (Oprm1) and provides a major quantitative trait locus for morphine effects. Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms in and near the Oprm1 locus identified a doubly-recombinant mouse with C57BL/6 markers within 1 Mb on either side of the KEPI deletion. This strategy minimized the amount of 129S6 DNA surrounding the transgene and documented the C57BL/6 origin of the Oprm1 gene in this founder and its offspring. Recombinant KEPIKO mice displayed (a) normal analgesic responses and normal locomotion after initial morphine treatments, (b) accelerated development of tolerance to analgesic effects of morphine, (c) elevated activity of protein phosphatase 1 in thalamus, (d) attenuated morphine reward as assessed by conditioned place preference. These data support roles for KEPI action in adaptive responses to repeated administration of morphine that include analgesic tolerance and drug reward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-895
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • conditioned place preference
  • morphine analgesia
  • morphine reward
  • morphine tolerance
  • protein phosphatase 1
  • quantitative trait locus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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