Assessment of opioid partial agonist activity with a three-choice hydromorphone dose-discrimination procedure.
The discriminative stimulus and subjective effects of opioid mixed agonist-antagonists were assessed in volunteer nondependent heroin users trained in a three-choice drug discrimination procedure to discriminate among the effects of i.m. administration of 2 ml of saline, 1 mg of hydromorphone, and 4 mg of hydromorphone (a morphine-like mu agonist). Other subjective, behavioral, and physiological measures were concurrently collected. The discrimination was readily learned by six of the eight subjects. After training, generalization curves were determined for the following i.m. drug conditions: hydromorphone (0.375-4.0 mg), pentazocine (7.5-60 mg), butorphanol (0.75-6 mg), nalbuphine (3-24 mg), and buprenorphine (0.075-0.6 mg). All five of the test drugs were discriminated significantly or showed trends toward being discriminated as hydromorphone 1 mg-like at one or more dose levels. Hydromorphone showed an inverted U-shaped dose-effect function on the hydromorphone 1 mg-like discrimination. Subjective effect measures produced clearer differentiation among the test drugs than did drug discrimination performance. The present results differ from those of a previous study that observed a close relationship between the results of the discrimination measure and subjective effect measures. The previous study used similar methods and test drugs but different training drugs (e.g., 3 mg of hydromorphone versus 6 mg of butorphanol versus saline). It appears that both the sensitivity of drug discrimination performance to between-drug differences and the relationship between discriminative and subjective effects depends upon the specific discrimination that is trained (e.g., two-choice or three-choice). The present high dose-low dose-saline discrimination procedure appears useful for assessing partial agonist activity. The present data are consistent with partial agonist activity for pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, and buprenorphine. (+info)
kappa-Opioid receptor effects of butorphanol in rhesus monkeys.
Butorphanol and nalbuphine have substantial affinity for mu and kappa-opioid receptor sites, yet their behavioral effects in monkeys are largely consistent with a mu receptor mechanism of action. Using ethylketocyclazocine (EKC) discrimination and diuresis assays in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), the purpose of the current investigation was to characterize the in vivo kappa-opioid activity of these compounds through the use of an insurmountable mu-opioid receptor antagonist, clocinnamox. Alone, butorphanol (0.001-0.032 mg/kg i.m.) failed to generalize to EKC, and pretreatment with the competitive opioid receptor antagonist quadazocine (0.1 or 0.32 mg/kg i.m.) did not alter this generalization. At 24 h after clocinnamox (0.1 mg/kg i.m.) administration, butorphanol fully generalized to EKC, and this generalization was maintained in two of three monkeys at 72 h. Parallel results were observed in diuresis: butorphanol alone and in the presence of quadazocine (1 mg/kg i.m.) did not alter urine output, and a marked diuretic effect was demonstrated 24 h to 2 weeks after clocinnamox administration. Clocinnamox did not alter the discriminative stimulus or diuretic effects of nalbuphine or of the kappa-opioid receptor agonists EKC or U69593. These results are consistent with an in vivo agonist activity of butorphanol at kappa-opioid receptors that can only be demonstrated when an insurmountable antagonist has substantially eliminated the dominant receptor population through which it exerts its action. (+info)
Chronic l-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM) in rhesus monkeys: tolerance and cross-tolerance to the antinociceptive, ventilatory, and rate-decreasing effects of opioids.
Although l-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM) is a maintenance treatment for opioid dependence, few studies have systematically assessed the behavioral effects of LAAM and other drugs in LAAM-treated subjects. In the current study, we assessed the ventilatory, antinociceptive, and rate-decreasing effects of drugs (s.c. except dynorphin, which was administered i.v.) in rhesus monkeys (n = 3 or 4) before and during chronic treatment with 1.0 mg/kg/12 h LAAM (s.c.). Minute volume (V(E)) was reduced to 62% of baseline during LAAM treatment and remained depressed after more than 10 months of LAAM treatment. A cumulative dose of 10.0 mg/kg morphine decreased V(E) to similar values under baseline (53%) and LAAM-treated (52%) conditions; however, larger doses of morphine (up to 56.0 mg/kg) could be administered safely to LAAM-treated monkeys. LAAM treatment produced dependence as evidenced by a 220% increase in V(E) after a dose of naltrexone (0.032 mg/kg) that did not modify ventilation under baseline conditions. Compared with baseline, LAAM treatment increased the ED(50) values for the rate-decreasing effects of nalbuphine, morphine, and alfentanil by 7-, 7-, and 2-fold, respectively, in monkeys responding under a fixed ratio 10 schedule of food presentation. Similarly, LAAM treatment increased ED(50) values for the antinociceptive effects of morphine and alfentanil by 5- and 3-fold, respectively. LAAM treatment also increased the ED(50) values for the antinociceptive effects of the kappa-agonist enadoline by 5-fold and not those of U-50,488. That tolerance developed differentially to the ventilatory, rate, and antinociceptive effects of mu-agonists in LAAM-treated monkeys suggests that cross-tolerance might not be a safe therapeutic approach for the treatment of some opioid abusers. (+info)
Enadoline discrimination in squirrel monkeys: effects of opioid agonists and antagonists.
Squirrel monkeys were trained to discriminate i.m. injections of the kappa-opioid receptor agonist enadoline (0.0017 mg/kg) from saline in a two-lever drug-discrimination procedure. Enadoline produced a reliable discriminative stimulus that was reproduced by the kappa-selective agonists PD 117302, U 50,488, GR 89686A, (-)-spiradoline, ICI 204448, and EMD 61753, and by the mixed-action kappa/mu-agonists bremazocine and ethylketocyclazocine. The discriminative stimulus effects of enadoline were not reproduced by the mu-selective agonist morphine, the delta-selective agonist BW373U86, the mixed-action opioids nalbuphine and nalorphine, or by the less active enantiomers of enadoline and spiradoline PD 129829 and (+)-spiradoline, respectively. The selective mu-opioid antagonist beta-funaltrexamine (10.0 mg/kg) did not appreciably alter the dose-effect function for enadoline in any subject. However, the nonselective and kappa-selective opioid antagonists quadazocine (0.03-3.0 mg/kg) and nor-BNI (3-10 mg/kg), and the mixed-action opioid nalbuphine (0.3-30 mg/kg) served to surmountably antagonize enadoline's discriminative stimulus effects. The antagonist effects of nor-BNI were long-lasting and did not distinguish between drugs purported to act at different kappa-receptor subtypes. The present results bolster the view that common discriminative stimulus effects of enadoline and other opioids are mediated by kappa-agonist actions that are surmountably antagonized by nor-BNI in a long-lasting manner. The enadoline-antagonist effects of nalbuphine support the idea that it acts with low efficacy at kappa-opioid receptors. (+info)
Relationship between rate and extent of G protein activation: comparison between full and partial opioid agonists.
Opioid agonists acting at their receptors alter intracellular events by initiating activation of various types of Gi/Go proteins. This can be measured by the binding of the stable GTP analog [(35)S]guanosine-5'-O-(3-thio)triphosphate ([(35)S]GTPgammaS). In this study agonist efficacy is defined by the degree to which an opioid stimulates the binding of [(35)S]GTPgammaS. This allows for a definition of full and partial agonists; a full agonist causing a greater stimulation of [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding than a partial agonist. The hypothesis that the rate of agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding is dependent upon agonist efficacy was tested using membranes from C6 glioma cells expressing mu- or delta-opioid receptors. At maximal concentrations the rate of agonist-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding followed the efficacy of mu-agonists in stimulating [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding, i.e., [D-Ala(2),N-Me-Phe(4),Gly(5)-ol]-enkephalin > morphine > meperidine > butorphanol > nalbuphine. At submaximal concentrations of mu- or delta-full agonists the [(35)S]GTPgammaS association rate was also reduced, such that the rate of [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding correlated with the extent of [(35)S]GTPgammaS bound, whether this binding was stimulated by a full agonist or a partial agonist. Agonists also stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS dissociation, showing that binding of this stable nucleotide was reversible. Comparison of the delta-agonists [D-Ser(2),Leu(5)]-enkephalin-Thr and (+/-)-4-((alpha-R*)-alpha-((2S*,5R*)-4-allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-hydrox ylbenzyl)-N,N-diethylbenzamide, a compound with slow dissociation kinetics, showed the measured rate of G protein activation was not influenced by the agonist switching between receptors. The results are consistent with the idea that the active state(s) of the receptor induced by full or partial agonists is the same, but the number of activated receptors determines the rate of G protein activation. (+info)
Effects of mu-opioid agonists on cocaine- and food-maintained responding and cocaine discrimination in rhesus monkeys: role of mu-agonist efficacy.
Mu-opioid agonists decrease cocaine self-administration in laboratory studies and cocaine use by many cocaine- and opioid-dependent polydrug abusers. To assess the role of mu-agonist efficacy as a determinant of these effects, this study evaluated cocaine- and food-maintained responding by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) during chronic treatment with saline or the high-efficacy mu-agonist fentanyl (0.001-0.01 mg/kg/h), the intermediate-efficacy mu-agonist morphine (0.032-0.32 mg/kg/h), or the low-efficacy mu-agonists nalbuphine (0.1-1.0 mg/kg/h) and butorphanol (0.0032-0.032 mg/kg/h). Responding was maintained by cocaine and food under a second order schedule of reinforcement during multiple daily sessions of cocaine and food availability. Saline and each opioid dose were administered continuously for 7 consecutive days during availability of each cocaine dose. All four mu-agonists produced dose-dependent and sustained decreases in cocaine self-administration across a range of cocaine doses (0.0032-0.1 mg/kg/injection). Nalbuphine and butorphanol produced the greatest decreases in cocaine self-administration and the smallest effects on food-maintained responding. Morphine and fentanyl produced smaller decreases in cocaine self-administration, and undesirable effects precluded evaluation of higher fentanyl and morphine doses. Decreases in cocaine self-administration produced by nalbuphine and butorphanol probably did not reflect a general blockade of cocaine's abuse-related effects, because nalbuphine and butorphanol did not block the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine in monkeys trained to discriminate 0.4 mg/kg cocaine from saline in a food-reinforced drug discrimination procedure. These results suggest that low-efficacy mu-agonists may decrease cocaine self-administration to a greater degree and with fewer undesirable effects than high-efficacy mu-agonists. (+info)
Clocinnamox distinguishes opioid agonists according to relative efficacy in normal and morphine-treated rats trained to discriminate morphine.
High doses of insurmountable antagonists or frequent administration of high doses of agonists are required to alter the potency of opioid agonists to produce discriminative stimuli. In the present study, insurmountable antagonism and repeated agonist treatment were combined to remove or disable a large enough proportion of mu-opioid receptors to alter the potency or maximal effect for four agonists in male Sprague-Dawley rats trained to discriminate 3.2 mg/kg morphine from saline under a fixed-ratio 15 schedule of food reinforcement. All agonists produced 88 to 100% morphine responding and were differentially sensitive to clocinnamox antagonism (fentanyl < morphine < or = buprenorphine = nalbuphine). Repeated treatment with 20 mg/kg per day morphine for 6 days decreased by 2- to 3-fold the potency of fentanyl, morphine, and buprenorphine to produce morphine responding. After morphine treatment, 3.2 mg/kg clocinnamox produced a 7-fold further decrease in morphine potency. Clocinnamox (10 mg/kg) produced a 7- and 12-fold further decrease in morphine and fentanyl potency, respectively, a reduction in the slope of the morphine dose-response curve, and a suppression of the maximal morphine responding for buprenorphine. Repeated treatment with 10 mg/kg per day morphine for 6 days failed to alter the potency of nalbuphine to produce morphine responding. In these morphine-treated rats, doses of 3.2 or 10 mg/kg clocinnamox suppressed the maximal morphine responding. Taken together, these data indicate that combined insurmountable antagonist and repeated agonist treatment produce additive effects at mu-opioid receptors to diminish discriminative stimulus effects in a manner predicted by the relative efficacy of opioid agonists. (+info)
Hitting them where it hurts? Low dose nalbuphine therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if low dose nalbuphine provides an adequate reduction in pain with minimal side effects. METHODS: Prospective cohort of 115 patients given nalbuphine by paramedics in Wales and the English borders. OUTCOME MEASURES: (1) Mean total dose of nalbuphine administered, change in pain score, time to adequate pain relief (score below four), and change in respiratory rate and systolic blood pressure; (2) proportion of patients continuing to suffer moderate to severe pain on arrival at hospital; (3) incidence of adverse events. RESULTS: Full data were obtained for all patients. The mean total dose of nalbuphine administered was 6.09 mg (range 2.5 to 12.5 mg). This was significantly higher in trauma than ischaemic chest pain patients (7.03 versus 5.13 mg). The mean reduction in pain score was -3.97 (95% CI -4.38 to -3.57, p<0.001). The mean time to adequate pain relief (where this was achieved) was 15.7 minutes (95% CI 13.4 to 17.9 minutes). On arrival at hospital 60% of patients (n=69, 95% CI 50.9 to 68.5%) still met ambulance criteria for analgesia (70.7% of trauma patients and 49.1% with ischaemic chest pain). Systolic blood pressure fell by a mean of -3.67 (95% CI -6.76 to -0.58, p=0.02) and respiratory rate increased by a mean of 1.63 (95% CI 1.08 to 2.17, p<0.001). Two patients complained of nausea (1.74%, 95% CI 0.5 to 6.0%). No other adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Low dose nalbuphine results in few adverse events, but offers poor pain control for a high proportion of patients. (+info)