European journal of pharmacology

Quinine-induced inhibition of gastrointestinal transit in mice: possible involvement of endogenous opioids.

PMID 9932723


The effect of quinine, a cinchona alkaloid, was studied on gastrointestinal transit in mice. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of quinine inhibited the intestinal propulsion of a charcoal suspension at a dose of 100 mg/kg, comparing favorably with 5 mg/kg morphine. In an attempt to probe into the mechanism underlying this inhibition, a possible modulation by minoxidil (1 mg/kg, p.o.) and glibenclamide (1 mg/kg, p.o.), the drugs that, respectively, open and close ATP-sensitive K+ channels was tested on gastrointestinal transit in animals treated or not with quinine or morphine. While minoxidil produced no significant change of normal transit, glibenclamide significantly increased it. However, both drugs blocked the quinine-induced reduction in gastrointestinal transit. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of morphine on gastrointestinal transit was not modified by either drug. The effects of quinine as well as of morphine on gastrointestinal transit were significantly antagonized by naloxone (2 mg/kg, s.c.), a mu-opioid receptor antagonist but not by yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonist. Furthermore, quinine at a lower dose (25 mg/kg) that showed no per se effect on gastrointestinal transit, significantly potentiated the response to 2.5 mg/kg morphine. Although the role of ATP-sensitive K+ channels in the action of quinine and morphine was not clarified by the present results, a possible involvement of endogenous opioid(s) in the quinine-induced inhibition of gastrointestinal transit can be suggested.

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Quinine hemisulfate salt monohydrate, synthetic, ≥90% (HPLC)
C20H24N2O2 · 0.5H2O4S · H2O