Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Aug;31(8):1435-40. Epub 2007 Jun 5.

Effects of selective opioid receptor antagonists on alcohol-induced and nicotine-induced antinociception.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hampton University School of Pharmacy, Hampton, Virginia, USA.



Despite synergistic increases in risks of various cancers, the incidence of concomitant smoking and drinking remains high. An additive or synergistic analgesic effect of combined alcohol and nicotine may contribute to their coabuse. Recently, we provided evidence that doses of alcohol and nicotine that are ineffective in inducing an antinociceptive effect alone, when combined, can induce such an effect. Moreover, this antinociceptive effect could be attenuated by pretreatment with the nonselective opioid antagonist naloxone. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of selective opioid receptor subtypes (micro, delta, and kappa) in mediating the antinociceptive effects of alcohol, nicotine, and their combination.


Adult male Wistar rats were administered selective opioid antagonists, D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH(2) (CTAP, for micro receptor, 1.0 mg/kg), naltrindole (for delta receptors, 10 mg/kg), and norbinaltorphimine (nor-BNI, for kappa receptor, 10 mg/kg) before injection of alcohol, nicotine or their combination. The animals were tested in hot-plate and tail-flick assays, representing nociception mediated predominantly via brain or spinal pathways, respectively. All the injections were administered acutely and the nociceptive tests were carried out 20 minutes after alcohol and 10 minutes after nicotine administration.


In general, the antagonists were more effective in blocking the effects of alcohol, nicotine, or their combination in the tail-flick versus the hot-plate assay. CTAP was most effective in blocking the effects of alcohol alone and nicotine alone in the tail-flick test, whereas in the hot-plate test both CTAP and naltrindole were more effective than nor-BNI. All 3 antagonists had a very similar profile in attenuating the combination of alcohol and nicotine effect in the hot-plate assay. None of the antagonists had a significant effect against the highest alcohol-nicotine dose in this test. In the tail-flick test, however, CTAP and naltrindole were more effective than nor-BNI in attenuating the highest alcohol-nicotine dose.


The data suggest the utility of all 3 opioid antagonists in blocking the effects of alcohol, nicotine, or their combination in spinally mediated antinociception. Although the supraspinally mediated antinociception was also attenuated by the opioid antagonists, further investigation of combination doses of these antagonists in fully blocking the supraspinal effects or attenuating voluntary alcohol and nicotine intake is warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk