Vagal apnea and hypotension evoked by systemic injection of an antinociceptive analogue of endomorphin-2.


:PK20M (Dmt-D-Lys-Phe-Phe-OH) is a novel modified endomorphin-2 (EM-2) peptide producing strong dose- and time-dependent antinociceptive activity. Yet its prototype, endogenous EM-2, has been reported to trigger respiratory and vascular effects such as apnea and hypotension. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potency of the PK20M to evoke respiratory and cardiovascular responses in comparison to endogenous endomorphins. The engagement of the vagal pathway and μ opioid receptors in mediation of these responses was investigated. The effects of intravenous injections of PK20M, EM-1, and EM-2 were studied in anaesthetized, spontaneously breathing rats. The main dose-dependent effect of all endomorphins in the intact rats was immediate apnea, blood pressure and heart rate decrease. PK20M produced apnea in at least half of the intact animals in a much smaller dose than EM-1 and EM-2. The effects of all compounds were abrogated by pre-treatment with MNLX, a peripherally acting μ receptor antagonist. Cervical vagotomy eliminated arrest of breathing in the case of each tested compound. Hypotension was reduced by vagi section only after EM-1 and EM-2 administration. Our results demonstrated that apnea and bradycardia caused by systemic injection of all endomorphins were mediated via activation of μ vagal opioid receptors. The hypotension depended on intact vagi nerves only in the case of EM-1 and EM-2, whereas PK20M decreased blood pressure via other mechanisms outside vagal innervation. Modified opioid agonist is more potent in evoking extended hypotension; at the same time, it produces an arrest of breathing less frequently than its prototype EM-2.


Eur J Pharmacol


Wojciechowski P,Kleczkowska P,Mollica A,Stefanucci A,Kaczyńska K




Has Abstract


2020-10-15 00:00:00












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