Development of muscarinic analgesics derived from epibatidine: role of the M4 receptor subtype. (1/1330)

Epibatidine, a neurotoxin isolated from the skin of Epipedobates tricolor, is an efficacious antinociceptive agent with a potency 200 times that of morphine. The toxicity of epibatidine, because of its nonspecificity for both peripheral and central nicotinic receptors, precludes its development as an analgesic. During the synthesis of epibatidine analogs we developed potent antinociceptive agents, typified by CMI-936 and CMI-1145, whose antinociception, unlike that of epibatidine, is mediated via muscarinic receptors. Subsequently, we used specific muscarinic toxins and antagonists to delineate the muscarinic receptor subtype involved in the antinociception evoked by these agents. Thus, the antinociception produced by CMI-936 and CMI-1145 is inhibited substantially by 1) intrathecal injection of the specific muscarinic M4 toxin, muscarinic toxin-3; 2) intrathecally administered pertussis toxin, which inhibits the G proteins coupled to M2 and M4 receptors; and 3) s.c. injection of the M2/M4 muscarinic antagonist himbacine. These results demonstrate that the antinociception elicited by these epibatidine analogs is mediated via muscarinic M4 receptors located in the spinal cord. Compounds that specifically target the M4 receptor therefore may be of substantial value as alternative analgesics to the opiates.  (+info)

Differences in the actions of some blockers of the calcium-activated potassium permeability in mammalian red cells. (2/1330)

1. The actions of some inhibitors of the Ca2+-activated K+ permeability in mammalian red cells have been compared. 2. Block of the permeability was assessed from the reduction in the net loss of K+ that followed the application of the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 (2 microM) to rabbit red cells suspended at a haematocrit of 1% in a low potassium solution ([K]0 0.12-0.17 mM) at 37 degrees C. Net movement of K+ was measured using a K+-sensitive electrode placed in the suspension. 3. The concentrations (microM +/- s.d.) of the compounds tested causing 50% inhibition of K+ loss were: quinine, 37 +/- 3; cetiedil, 26 +/- 1; the cetiedil congeners UCL 1269, UCL 1274 and UCL 1495, approximately 150, 8.2 +/- 0.1, 0.92 +/- 0.03 respectively; clotrimazole, 1.2 +/- 0.1; nitrendipine, 3.6 +/- 0.5 and charybdotoxin, 0.015 +/- 0.002. 4. The characteristics of the block suggested that compounds could be placed in two groups. For one set (quinine, cetiedil, and the UCL congeners), the concentration-inhibition curves were steeper (Hill coefficient, nH, > or = 2.7) than for the other (clotrimazole, nitrendipine, charybdotoxin) for which nH approximately 1. 5. Compounds in the first set alone became less active on raising the concentration of K+ in the external solution to 5.4 mM. 6. The rate of K+ loss induced by A23187 slowed in the presence of high concentrations of cetiedil and its analogues, suggesting a use-dependent component to the inhibitory action. This was not seen with clotrimazole. 7. The blocking action of the cetiedil analogue UCL 1274 could not be overcome by an increase in external Ca2+ and its potency was unaltered when K+ loss was induced by the application of Pb2+ (10 microM) rather than by A23187. 8. These results, taken with the findings of others, suggest that agents that block the red cell Ca2+-activated K+ permeability can be placed in two groups with different mechanisms of action. The differences can be explained by supposing that clotrimazole and charybdotoxin act at the outer face of the channel whereas cetiedil and its congeners may block within it, either at or near the K+ binding site that determines the flow of K+.  (+info)

Metallothionein-I/II knockout mice are sensitive to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. (3/1330)

The purpose of this study was to examine whether intracellular metallothionein (MT) protects against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. MT-I/II knockout (MT-null) and control mice were given acetaminophen (150-500 mg/kg i.p.), and liver injury was assessed 24 h later. MT-null mice were more susceptible than controls to acetaminophen-induced lethality and hepatotoxicity, as evidenced by elevated serum enzyme activities and histopathology. Zinc pretreatment, a method of MT induction, protected against acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in control mice, but not in MT-null mice. The susceptibility of MT-null mice to acetaminophen hepatotoxicity was not due to the increased acetaminophen bioactivation, as cytochrome P-450 enzymes, and acetaminophen-reactive metabolites in bile and urine were not increased in MT-null mice. Western blots of liver cytosol indicated that acetaminophen covalent binding at 4 h increased with acetaminophen dose, but there was no consistent difference between control and MT-null mice. Acetaminophen injection depleted cellular glutathione similarly in both control and MT-null mice, but produced more lipid peroxidation in MT-null mice, as evidenced by the abundance of thiobarbiturate-reactive substances, and by immunohistochemical localization of 4-hydroxynonenal and malondialdehyde protein adducts. MT-null hepatocytes were more susceptible than control cells to oxidative stress and cytotoxicity produced by N-acetylbenzoquinoneimine, a reactive metabolite of acetaminophen, as determined by oxidation of 2', 7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate and lactate dehydrogenase leakage. In summary, this study demonstrated that MT deficiency renders animals more vulnerable to acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity. The increased sensitivity does not appear to be due to increased acetaminophen activation, glutathione depletion, or covalent binding, but appears to be associated with the antioxidant role of MT.  (+info)

Gastric emptying after elective abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery: the case for early postoperative enteral feeding. (4/1330)

OBJECTIVE: To assess gastric emptying with a view to early postoperative enteral nutrition after elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery. METHODS: The paracetamol absorption test was used to assess gastric emptying in 13 consecutive patients at 6, 18 and 32 h following elective AAA surgery. All patients received postoperative analgesia with marcaine given via an epidural catheter during the first 48 postoperative hours. Normal emptying was defined as an area under the plasma paracetamol concentration curve at 60 min (AUC-60) of > 600 mg/min/l. RESULTS: The median time to normal gastric emptying was 18 +/- 7.7 h. One patient (7.6%) had normal emptying at 6 h, nine (69%) at 18 h and 12 (92%) at 32 h. The nasogastric tubes were removed at a median of 3.2 days after surgery, and enteral feeding was commenced on day 4. CONCLUSIONS: Gastric emptying was normal 18 h post-AAA surgery as assessed by the paracetamol absorption test. In view of the importance of maintaining an intact gastrointestinal mucosa, enteral nutrition may be commenced on the second postoperative day.  (+info)

A high incidence of vertebral fracture in women with breast cancer. (5/1330)

Because treatment for breast cancer may adversely affect skeletal metabolism, we investigated vertebral fracture risk in women with non-metastatic breast cancer. The prevalence of vertebral fracture was similar in women at the time of first diagnosis to that in an age-matched sample of the general population. The incidence of vertebral fracture, however, was nearly five times greater than normal in women from the time of first diagnosis [odds ratio (OR), 4.7; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.3-9.9], and 20-fold higher in women with soft-tissue metastases without evidence of skeletal metastases (OR, 22.7; 95% CI, 9.1-57.1). We conclude that vertebral fracture risk is markedly increased in women with breast cancer.  (+info)

Postoperative analgesia and vomiting, with special reference to day-case surgery: a systematic review. (6/1330)

BACKGROUND: Day-case surgery is of great value to patients and the health service. It enables many more patients to be treated properly, and faster than before. Newer, less invasive, operative techniques will allow many more procedures to be carried out. There are many elements to successful day-case surgery. Two key components are the effectiveness of the control of pain after the operation, and the effectiveness of measures to minimise postoperative nausea and vomiting. OBJECTIVES: To enable those caring for patients undergoing day-case surgery to make the best choices for their patients and the health service, this review sought the highest quality evidence on: (1) the effectiveness of the control of pain after an operation; (2) the effectiveness of measures to minimise postoperative nausea and vomiting. METHODS: Full details of the search strategy are presented in the report. RESULTS - ANALGESIA: The systematic reviews of the literature explored whether different interventions work and, if they do work, how well they work. A number of conclusions can be drawn. RESULTS-ANALGESIA, INEFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS: There is good evidence that some interventions are ineffective. They include: (1) transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in acute postoperative pain; (2) the use of local injections of opioids at sites other than the knee joint; (3) the use of dihydrocodeine, 30 mg, in acute postoperative pain (it is no better than placebo). RESULTS-ANALGESIA, INTERVENTIONS OF DOUBTFUL VALUE: Some interventions may be effective but the size of the effect or the complication of undertaking them confers no measurable benefit over conventional methods. Such interventions include: (1) injecting morphine into the knee joint after surgery: there is a small analgesic benefit which may last for up to 24 hours but there is no clear evidence that the size of the benefit is of any clinical value; (2) manoeuvres to try and anticipate pain by using pre-emptive analgesia; these are no more effective than standard methods; (3) administering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by injection or per rectum in patients who can swallow; this appears to be no more effective than giving NSAIDs by mouth and, indeed, may do more harm than good; (4) administering codeine in single doses; this has poor analgesic efficacy. RESULTS-ANALGESIA, INTERVENTIONS OF PROVEN VALUE: These include a number of oral analgesics including (at standard doses): (1) dextropropoxyphene; (2) tramadol; (3) paracetamol; (4) ibuprofen; (5) diclofenac. Diclofenac and ibuprofen at standard doses give analgesia equivalent to that obtained with 10 mg of intramuscular morphine. Each will provide at least 50% pain relief from a single oral dose in patients with moderate or severe postoperative pain. Paracetamol and codeine combinations also appear to be highly effective, although there is little information on the standard doses used in the UK. The relative effectiveness of these analgesics is compared in an effectiveness 'ladder' which can inform prescribers making choices for individual patients, or planning day-case surgery. Dose-response relationships show that higher doses of ibuprofen may be particularly effective. Topical NSAIDs (applied to the skin) are effective in minor injuries and chronic pain but there is no obvious role for them in day-case surgery. RESULTS-POSTOPERATIVE NAUSEA AND VOMITING: The proportion of patients who may feel nauseated or vomit after surgery is very variable, despite similar operations and anaesthetic techniques. Systematic review can still lead to clear estimations of effectiveness of interventions. Whichever anti-emetic is used, the choice is often between prophylactic use (trying to prevent anyone vomiting) and treating those people who do feel nauseated or who may vomit. Systematic reviews of a number of different anti-emetics show clearly that none of the anti-emetics is sufficiently effective to be used for prophylaxis. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATE  (+info)

Comparison of the analgesic potency of xenon and nitrous oxide in humans evaluated by experimental pain. (7/1330)

We have compared the analgesic potency of MAC-equivalent concentrations of xenon (10, 20, 30 and 40%) and nitrous oxide (15, 30, 45 and 60%) in humans using a multimodal experimental pain testing and assessment technique. We tested 12 healthy volunteers in a randomized, single-blind, crossover study. The following experimental pain tests were used: nociceptive reflex to repeated stimuli; pain tolerance to maximal effort tourniquet ischaemia; electrical stimulation; mechanical pressure; and cold. Reaction time was also measured. Xenon and nitrous oxide produced analgesia to ischaemic, electrical and mechanical stimulation, but not to cold pain. There was no difference in MAC-equivalent concentrations of xenon and nitrous oxide. Both increased reaction time in a similar manner. Xenon and nitrous oxide evoked nausea and vomiting in a large number of volunteers.  (+info)

Randomised controlled trial of paracetamol for heel prick pain in neonates. (8/1330)

AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness of paracetamol in decreasing the pain from heel prick. METHODS: A prospective randomised double blind placebo controlled trial was conducted of 75 term neonates undergoing heel prick. Sixty to 90 minutes before the procedure neonates received paracetamol orally in a dose of 20 mg/kg (group 1) or an equal volume of placebo (group 2). Heel prick was performed in a standardised manner. Pain assessments were made using per cent facial action (brow bulge, eye squeeze, and nasolabial fold (range 0-300%) and per cent of time spent crying (range 0-100%). RESULTS: Thirty eight neonates were enrolled in group 1 and 37 neonates in group 2. There were no significant differences in the demographic characteristics between groups. Mean gestational age was 39 (SD 1.4) vs 39.4 (SD 1.2) weeks, p = 0.86, mean birthweight 3.45 (SD 0.45) vs 3.44 (SD 0.42) kg; p = 0.31 for groups 1 and 2, respectively. Facial action pain scores did not differ between groups (143.5 (SD 54.2)% vs 131.1 (SD 59.6)%; p = 0.38). Cry scores also did not differ (29.4 (SD 19.9)% vs 26.8 (SD 20.2)%; p = 0.60). No adverse effects were observed. CONCLUSION: Paracetamol is ineffective for decreasing the pain from heel prick in term neonates.  (+info)