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Stereospecific opiate binding has been demonstrated in human erythrocyte membranes, having a Kd of 9-10(-9) M. In most respects the binding characteristics resemble those of synaptic membranes. These included the correlation of binding affinity and pharmacological potency of opiates; competition by naloxone; inhibition by Ca2+ and Na+; and sensitivity to phospholipases and trypsin. A comparison of stereospecific opiate binding in control human subjects and heroin addicts revealed a 43% increase in the addict group.



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