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

Effect of D-Ala-2-Me-Phe-4-Gly-ol-5 enkephalin on epinephrine-induced arrhythmias in the rat and the interrelationship to the parasympathetic nervous system.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the millimicrons opioid agonist D-Ala-2-Me-Phe-4-Gly-ol enkephalin (DAGO) on catecholamine-induced arrhythmias. Arrhythmias were produced, in the rat, by continuous infusion of epinephrine until the development of fatal arrhythmias that were usually ventricular fibrillation. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of DAGO, 3 nmol, significantly (p less than 0.05) shifted to the right the relationship between epinephrine and both the onset of ventricular arrhythmias and the development of fatal arrhythmias. Naloxone, 1 mg/kg i.v., prevented these effects of DAGO. Atropine, 1 mg/kg i.v. or 20 micrograms/kg ICV, prevented the shift in these dose response relationships. Antagonism of DAGO's effects on arrhythmias could not be explained by an alteration of the blood pressure response to epinephrine. However, DAGO significantly increased blood pressure and decreased heart rate in separate experiments in animals that did not receive epinephrine and atropine prevent the heart rate and blood pressure effects of DAGO. These data show that 1) the millimicrons opioid receptor agonist DAGO suppresses epinephrine-induced arrhythmias, 2) the site of action can be within the CNS, 3) there is a role for the central parasympathetic nervous system to mediate the effect of DAGO and 4) endogenous opioids could modulate catecholamine-induced cardiac arrhythmias.[1]


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