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The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Putative kappa-2 opioid agonists are antihyperalgesic in a rat model of inflammation.


PMID 9103490

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that kappa-2 opioid receptor agonists can inhibit the current that flows through the N-methyl-o-aspartate (NMDA) subclass of excitatory amino acid receptor. NMDA receptor antagonists have been shown to be effective antihyperalgesic agents when administered intrathecally into rats. Antihyperalgesia is defined as the ability to block enhanced sensitivity, usually produced by nerve injury or inflammation, to nociceptive stimuli. Thus, the hypothesis was proposed that kappa-2 opioid receptor agonists would be antihyperalgesic when injected intrathecally into rats with an inflamed hind paw. The kappa agonists bremazocine and GR89,696 were effective at reversing the hyperalgesia associated with the inflamed hind paw but did not influence the sensitivity of the noninflamed hind paw to noxious heat. The kappa-1-selective agonist U69,593 had no effect on the heat sensitivity of either the inflamed paw or the noninflamed paw. Intrathecal injection of the mu-selective agonist [D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin or the delta-selective agonist [D-Pen(2,5)]enkephalin elevated paw withdrawal latencies to heat in both hind paws. These findings indicate that activation of presumed kappa-2 receptors in the rat spinal cord results in suppression of the hyperalgesic state without influencing normal sensitivity to noxious stimuli. It is proposed that the antihyperalgesic effect of kappa-2 receptor activation is mediated by the ability of the opioid receptor to reduce the flow of current through the NMDA receptor ionophore.

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