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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Sep 11;405(1-2):137-41. Epub 2006 Jul 20.

Conantokins and variants derived from cone snail venom inhibit naloxone-induced withdrawal jumping in morphine-dependent mice.

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  • 1Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing 100071, China.

Abstract

The biochemical processes underlying opiate addiction are complex, but n-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction appears to be one contributing factor. NMDAR antagonists, including MK-801 and memantine, have previously been shown to assuage symptoms stemming from opiate withdrawal. The conantokins are a small family of naturally occurring peptide toxins known to specifically antagonize the NMDAR. In the present study, the effects of wild-type and variant conantokins on the suppression of naloxone-induced jumping in morphine-dependent mice were evaluated. Our results demonstrate that NR2B-selective conantokins, viz., con-G, con-G[S(16)Y] and con-G[gamma(7)K], are potent inhibitors of naloxone-induced jumping at low doses (2-15 nmol/kg) compared with con-T, con-R[1-17], and small-molecule antagonists of the NMDAR, including the NR2B-selective agent, ifenprodil. We conclude that the NR2B-selective conantokins may find utility as neuropharmacological tools for probing NMDAR-related mechanisms of opiate dependence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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