Light-activated drugs and signaling molecules have therapeutic potential and are valuable experimental tools. Photoactivation of a mu opioid receptor agonist in the mouse brain rapidly triggered pain relief and locomotion, demonstrating that in vivo photopharmacology can drive dynamic studies into animal behavior.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 / 30 days
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$209.00 per year
only $17.42 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Get just this article for as long as you need it
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Paoletti, P., Ellis-Davies, G. C. & Mourot, A. Optical control of neuronal ion channels and receptors. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 20, 514–532 (2019). This review article presents photopharmacological probes and their biological applications.
Banghart, M. R. & Sabatini, B. L. Photoactivatable neuropeptides for spatiotemporally precise delivery of opioids in neural tissue. Neuron 73, 249–259 (2012). This paper reports the first caged opioid neuropeptides.
Banghart, M. R., He, X. J. & Sabatini, B. L. A caged enkephalin optimized for simultaneously probing mu and delta opioid receptors. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 9, 684–690 (2018). This paper reports second-generation caged opioid neuropeptides.
Banghart, M. R. et al. Light-activated ion channels for remote control of neuronal firing. Nat. Neurosci. 7, 2792–2796 (2004). This paper reports the use of a photoswitchable molecule to control neuronal activity.
Hüll, K., Morstein, J. & Trauner, D. In vivo photopharmacology. Chem. Rev. 118, 10710–10747 (2018). This review article presents photoswitchable ligands that have been examined in vivo.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
This is a summary of: Ma, X. et al. In vivo photopharmacology with a caged mu opioid receptor agonist drives rapid changes in behavior. Nat. Methods https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-023-01819-w (2023).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Deep-brain photoactivation of an opioid peptide shapes mouse behavior within seconds. Nat Methods 20, 645–646 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-023-01821-2