Selectivity profiling of NOP, MOP, DOP and KOP receptor antagonists in the rat spinal nerve ligation model of mononeuropathic pain

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Agonists selectively acting at NOP, MOP, DOP and KOP receptors as well as mixed opioid receptor agonists are known to exert anti-hypersensitive efficacy in the rat spinal nerve ligation (SNL) model of neuropathic pain. To investigate the relative contribution of individual opioid receptor activation to the overall efficacy of mixed opioid receptor agonists, selective doses of respective opioid receptor antagonists have to be employed. In order to identify such selective antagonist doses, doses of the selective NOP, MOP, DOP and KOP receptor agonists Ro65–6570, morphine, SNC-80 and U50488H, that produced maximum efficacy without apparent side effects, were challenged by each of the receptor antagonists J-113397 (NOP receptor), naloxone (MOP receptor), naltrindole (DOP receptor) and nor-binaltorphimine (KOP receptor). J-113397, naloxone, naltrindole and nor-binaltorphimine at intraperitoneal doses of 4.64, 1, 10, and 10 mg/kg, respectively, inhibited anti-hypersensitive effects mediated by the corresponding cognate NOP, MOP, DOP and KOP receptor selective agonists. Selectivity could be demonstrated for MOP, DOP and NOP receptor antagonists, as they did not attenuate effects mediated by agonists acting on non-cognate receptors, whereas the KOP receptor antagonist nor-BNI demonstrated partial cross-antagonism of the DOP receptor agonist SNC-80. Thus, specific doses of opioid receptor antagonists that completely but still selectively attenuate full anti-hypersensitive efficacy of corresponding opioid receptor agonists were identified in the rat SNL model.

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