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Life Sci. 2006 Apr 4;78(19):2265-71. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Partial agonistic effect of 9-hydroxycorynantheidine on mu-opioid receptor in the guinea-pig ileum.

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Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Josai International University, Togane, Chiba, Japan.


Mitragynine is an indole alkaloid isolated from the Thai medicinal plant Mitragyna speciosa that is reported to have opioid agonistic properties. The 9-demethyl analogue of mitragynine, 9-hydroxycorynantheidine, is synthesized from mitragynine. 9-Hydroxycorynantheidine inhibited electrically stimulated guinea-pig ileum contraction, but its maximum inhibition was weaker than that of mitragynine and its effect was antagonized by naloxone, suggesting that 9-hydroxycorynantheidine possesses partial agonist properties on opioid receptors. Receptor binding assays revealed that 9-hydroxycorynantheidine has high affinity for mu-opioid receptors. In an assay of the guinea-pig ileum, naloxone shifted the concentration-response curves for [D-Ala(2), N-MePhe(4), Gly-ol(5)]-enkephalin (DAMGO), (5alpha,7alpha,8beta)-(+)-N-Methyl-N-[7-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-1-oxaspiro[4.5]dec-8-yl]-benzeneacetamide (U69593) and 9-hydroxycorynantheidine to the right in a competitive manner. The pA(2) values of naloxone against 9-hydroxycorynantheidine and DAMGO were very similar, but not that against U69593. As indicated by the two assay systems, the opioid effect of 9-hydroxycorynantheidine is selective for the mu-opioid receptor. 9-Hydroxycorynantheidine shifted the concentration-response curve for DAMGO slightly to the right. Pretreatment with the mu-opioid selective and irreversible antagonist beta-funaltorexamine hydrochloride (beta-FNA) shifted the concentration-response curve for DAMGO to the right without affecting the maximum response. On the other hand, beta-FNA did not affect the curve for 9-hydroxycorynantheidine, but decreased the maximum response because of the lack of spare receptors. These studies suggest that 9-hydroxycorynantheidine has partial agonist properties on mu-opioid receptors in the guinea-pig ileum.

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