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Eur J Pharmacol. 1997 Nov 19;339(1):63-7.

Effects of mu- and kappa-opioid receptors on postoperative ileus in rats.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp, Belgium.


In a rat model of postoperative ileus, induced by abdominal surgery, we investigated the effect of mu- and kappa-opioid receptors. Different degrees of inhibition of the gastrointestinal transit, measured by the migration of Evans blue, were achieved by skin incision, laparotomy or laparotomy plus manipulation of the gut. Morphine (1 mg/kg), a preferential mu-opioid receptor agonist, significantly inhibited the transit after skin incision, while the transit after the laparotomy with or without manipulation was not significantly affected. Fedotozine (5 mg/kg), a peripheral kappa-opioid receptor agonist, enhanced the transit after laparotomy plus manipulation, while naloxone (1 mg/kg), a non-specific opioid receptor antagonist, further inhibited the transit after laparotomy plus manipulation. Naloxone and fedotozine alone had no effect on the transit after skin incision or laparotomy without manipulation. However, naloxone prevented the effect of morphine on the transit after skin incision and of fedotozine on the laparotomy plus manipulation. These results support a role for peripheral kappa-opioid receptors in the pathogenesis of postoperative ileus induced by abdominal surgery.

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