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Brain Res. 2005 Jul 5;1049(1):61-9.

Brain delta2 opioid receptors mediate SNC-80-evoked hypothermia in rats.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Temple University School of Pharmacy, 3307 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


Despite insights into an increasingly significant role for delta opioid receptors in thermoregulation, it is unclear whether delta receptors located in the brain or periphery play the more critical role in body temperature regulation. Moreover, it is not entirely clear which delta receptor phenotype, delta1 or delta2, mediates the hypothermic actions of delta agonists. Because SNC-80 distributes into central and peripheral compartments and produces rapid hypothermia following systemic injection, the nonpeptide delta agonist is particularly useful in discriminating the site of action of delta receptor-mediated hypothermia. To determine the locus and phenotype of delta receptor which mediates SNC-80-induced hypothermia, we injected SNC-80 and phenotype selective delta antagonists to male Sprague-Dawley rats. SNC-80 (10-50 mg/kg, im) evoked hypothermia that peaked 30 min post-injection. Naltrexone (5 mg/kg, sc), an opioid antagonist, or naltrindole (5 mg/kg, sc), a delta antagonist, blocked the hypothermic response to SNC-80 (35 mg/kg, im). The hypothermia caused by SNC-80 (35 mg/kg, im) was blocked by a delta2 antagonist, naltriben (2.5 mg/kg, sc), but was not affected by BNTX (5 and 10 mg/kg, sc), a delta1 antagonist. The administration of naltriben (10 microg/rat, icv) 30 min before SNC-80 (35 mg/kg, im) prevented SNC-80-evoked hypothermia. In contrast, methylnaltrexone (5 mg/kg, sc), a peripherally restricted opioid antagonist, did not affect the hypothermia caused by SNC-80. The present data demonstrate that selective activation of brain delta2 receptors is a major mechanism of SNC-80-evoked hypothermia in rats.

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