Opioid and cannabinoid brain receptors, illustration

Opioid and cannabinoid brain receptors, illustration

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Credit: JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Opioid and cannabinoid brain receptors, illustration. Two types of receptors are shown here in a brain cell membrane. The membrane is seen in cutaway view across lower centre, with two brain cell receptors (dark blue) shown: a delta opioid receptor (lower left) and a cannabinoid receptor (centre right). The opioid and cannabinoid receptors are involved in pain-sensation, mood, appetite and memory. Molecules that bind to these receptors (agonists) are potent analgesics (pain killers). The examples shown here are: endorphin (red) and tetrahydrocannabinol (green).

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