Send to

Choose Destination
J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2004 Nov;44 Suppl 1:S129-31.

A novel combination of opiates and endothelin antagonists to manage pain without any tolerance development.

Author information

Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Several neurotransmitter mechanisms have been proposed as playing a role in the development of morphine tolerance. We provide evidence for the first time that endothelin antagonists can restore morphine analgesia in morphine-tolerant rats and prevent the development of tolerance to morphine. Studies were carried out in rats and mice treated with implanted placebo or implanted morphine pellet. The maximal tail-flick latency in morphine pellet + vehicle-treated rats (7.54 seconds) was significantly lower when compared with placebo pellet + vehicle-treated rats (10 seconds), indicating that tolerance developed to the analgesic effect of morphine. BQ123 potentiated tail-flick latency by 30.0% in placebo-tolerant rats and 94.5% in morphine-tolerant rats compared with respective controls. BMS182874 potentiated tail-flick latency by 30.2% in placebo-tolerant rats and 66.7% in morphine-tolerant rats. The enhanced analgesic effect of morphine after treatment with endothelin antagonists could be blocked by naloxone, indicating an opiate-mediated effect; but naloxone binding to brain membranes was not affected by BQ123. Guanosine triphosphate binding was stimulated by morphine and endothelin-1 in non-tolerant mice and not in morphine-tolerant mice; however, guanosine triphosphate binding was stimulated by BQ123 in morphine-tolerant mice and was unaffected in non-tolerant mice. These results suggest that uncoupling of G-protein occurs in morphine tolerance and endothelin antagonist restores the coupling of G-protein to its receptors. A combination use of endothelin antagonist and opiates could provide a novel approach in improving analgesia and eliminating tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center