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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sympathoadrenal, cardiovascular and blood gas responses to highly selective mu and delta opioid peptides.

The relative importance of mu and delta opioid receptors in brain regulation of sympathoadrenal, cardiovascular and respiratory function was investigated using highly selective mu and delta opioid peptide analogs. Groups of conscious rats received i.c.v. injections of either the mu-selective agonist, [D-Ala2, MePhe4, Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAMGO) or the delta-selective agonist, [D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE). Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded continuously via a chronic catheter in the carotid artery, and arterial blood samples were taken at intervals through the same catheter for determination of blood pH, pCO2, pO2 and plasma catecholamine concentrations. Both DAMGO and DPDPE increased plasma catecholamine levels and blood pressure in a dose-related manner. The slopes of the dose-response lines were parallel, but the delta compound was about 250 times less potent than DAMGO. Only the highest dose of 5 nmol of DAMGO caused a significant bradycardia, mediated by parasympathetic (vagal) activation. DAMGO and DPDPE also induced dose-dependent acidosis, with DAMGO again being much more potent than DPDPE. The effects of both DAMGO and DPDPE on plasma catecholamines, blood pressure and blood gases were antagonized by a mu-selective dose of naloxone (0.4 mg/kg i.a.). Intracerebroventricular administration of the delta-selective antagonist, ICI 174,864, only partially attenuated sympathoadrenal and blood gas responses to DAMGO or DPDPE. The pressor responses to DAMGO or DPDPE were resistant to antagonism by ICI 174,864. These results indicate that brain opioid receptors regulating autonomic outflow, cardiovascular and respiratory function are mainly of the mu type, although a delta opioid system may contribute to sympathoadrenal and respiratory effects of opioids.[1]


  1. Sympathoadrenal, cardiovascular and blood gas responses to highly selective mu and delta opioid peptides. Kiritsy-Roy, J.A., Marson, L., Van Loon, G.R. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. (1989) [Pubmed]
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