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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1998 May;285(2):787-94.

ABT-594 [(R)-5-(2-azetidinylmethoxy)-2-chloropyridine]: a novel, orally effective antinociceptive agent acting via neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: II. In vivo characterization.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Products Division, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois, USA.


The antinociceptive effects of ABT-594, a novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligand, were examined in rats in models of acute thermal (hot box) and persistent chemical (formalin test) pain. Also, the effects of ABT-594 treatment on motor function and electroencephalogram (EEG) were determined. In the hot box and formalin test (i.e., phase 1 and 2), acute treatment with ABT-594 (0.03, 0.1 and 0.3 mumol/kg i.p.) produced significant dose-dependent antinociceptive effects. In the hot box, the efficacy of ABT-594 was maintained after a repeated dosing paradigm (5 days b.i.d.i.p.). ABT-594 was fully efficacious in the formalin test when administered before formalin, and also retained significant efficacy (0.3 mumol/kg i.p.) when administered after formalin injection. The antinociceptive effects of ABT-594 in the hot box and formalin tests were attenuated by pretreatment with the nAChR antagonist, mecamylamine, and in animals treated with the nAChR antagonist chlorisondamine, given centrally (10 micrograms/rat i.c.v. 5 days before), but not in animals pretreated with the opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone. Acute treatment with ABT-594 produced an initial decrease in open-field locomotor activity, which was absent in animals dosed repeatedly (5 days b.i.d.) with ABT-594. Also, acute treatment with ABT-594 decreased body temperature and decreased the amount of time the animals could maintain balance in an edge-balance test. These effects were no longer present in animals dosed repeatedly with ABT-594. At antinociceptive doses, ABT-594 produced activation of free running EEG in contrast to the sedative-like effects of morphine. Full antinociceptive efficacy was maintained in both the hot box and formalin tests after oral administration, whereas the effects on motoric performance were attenuated. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that ABT-594 is a potent antinociceptive agent with full efficacy in models of acute and persistent pain and that these effects are mediated predominately by an action at central neuronal nAChRs. In addition, antinociceptive effects were maintained after repeated dosing, whereas effects of ABT-594 on motor and temperature measures were attenuated in animals treated repeatedly with ABT-594. Thus, compounds acting at nAChRs may represent a novel approach for the treatment of a variety of pain states.

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