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Neuropharmacology. 2007 Mar;52(3):895-903. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of kappa opioid receptors: effects on cocaine- and pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsions and seizure kindling.

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1
Integrative Neuroscience Section, Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, NIH/NIDA Intramural Research Program, 5500 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. kaminskr@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

The present study used pharmacological and gene ablation techniques to examine the involvement of kappa opioid receptors (KOPr) in modulating the convulsant effects of two mechanistically different drugs: cocaine and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ; GABA-A receptor antagonist) in mice. Systemic administration of the selective KOPr-1 agonist, U69593 (0.16-0.6mg/kg; s.c.), failed to modify cocaine-evoked convulsions or cocaine kindling. Similarly, no alteration in responsiveness to cocaine was observed in wild-type mice that received the selective KOPr-1 antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI; 5mg/kg) or in mice lacking the gene encoding KOPr-1. In contrast to cocaine, U69593 attenuated the seizures induced by acute or repeated PTZ administration. Nor-BNI decreased the threshold for PTZ-evoked seizures and increased seizure incidence during the initial induction of kindling relative to controls. Decreased thresholds for PTZ-induced seizures were also observed in KOPr-1 knock out mice. Together, these data demonstrate an involvement of endogenous KOPr systems in modulating vulnerability to the convulsant effects of PTZ but not cocaine. Furthermore, they demonstrate that KOPr-1 activation protects against acute and kindled seizures induced by this convulsant. Finally, the results of our study suggest that KOPr-1 antagonists will not have therapeutic utility against cocaine-induced seizures, while they may prove beneficial in attenuating several actions of cocaine that have been linked to its abuse.

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