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

Intracerebroventricular N-ethylmaleimide differentially reduces supraspinal opioid analgesia in mice.

I.c.v. injection of 1 nmol N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) into mice interfered with opioid-induced supraspinal analgesia, as assessed in the warm water tail-flick test. This effect of NEM was long-lasting (more than 3 days), non-competitive and differentially inhibited by the opioids studied. The analgesia induced by [D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin (DADLE), [D-Ala2,Met5]enkephalinamide (DAME) and [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE) was greatly reduced in NEM-treated mice. The antinociception elicited by [D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly-ol5]enkephalin (DAGO) was also impaired although to a lesser extent. In contrast, the activity of morphine and etorphine remained unchanged. NEM-sensitive opioids coadministered with morphine antagonized the analgesia elicited by the alkaloid in NEM-treated mice. The administration of naltrexone or DADLE, DAGO, [D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Met-(O)5-ol]enkephalin (FK-33824) and morphine in doses equivalent to the ED90 doses for inducing analgesia, a few minutes before NEM prevented it from interfering with DADLE-elicited supraspinal analgesia when evaluated 24 h later. In contrast, the selective delta antagonist, ICI 174864, did not protect the DADLE-induced analgesia against the effect of NEM. We suggest that NEM produced its effect by acting upon a site that appears to be distal to the receptor binding site, presumably located on the guanine nucleotide binding regulatory proteins, Gi/Go. Therefore, these transducer proteins might play a key role in the effects displayed by opioids when acting via the mu receptor-Gi/Go complexes.[1]


  1. Intracerebroventricular N-ethylmaleimide differentially reduces supraspinal opioid analgesia in mice. Sánchez-Blázquez, P., Ulibarri, I., Garzón, J. Eur. J. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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