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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1991 Dec;259(3):1109-17.

Distribution and analgesia of [3H][D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin and two halogenated analogs after intravenous administration.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Arizona, Tucson.


To improve pharmacological characteristics of the delta-selective, cyclic peptide [D-Pen2, D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE), modification by halogenation at the Phe4 residue was undertaken. The present study was to determine the extent [3H]DPDPE, [3H][p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE and [p-125IPhe4]DPDPE crosses the blood-brain barrier, elicits analgesia and to characterize selective organ distribution and stability after i.v. administration. A significantly greater percentage of total [3H][p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE reached the brain after 10, 20 and 40 min as compared to [3H]DPDPE and both peptides were significantly displaced by pretreatment with naloxone or naltrindole. The amount of [3H]DPDPE detected in the brain was greater than that of [p-125IPhe4]DPDPE. Distribution results revealed large amounts of the administered peptides were sequestered rapidly in the gall bladder and secreted into the small intestine. Hot-plate antinociception tests 5 min after i.v. administration (30 and 60 mg/kg) revealed [p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE to elicit a much greater analgesic effect as compared to DPDPE or [p-125IPhe4]DPDPE. These results provide evidence that [p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE has a greater apparent distribution to the brain and has a greater effect on the antinociception threshold as tested on the hot-plate than DPDPE or [p-125IPhe4]DPDPE. Stability of unlabeled and tritiated DPDPE and [p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE was determined both in vitro and in vivo; both unlabeled and tritiated DPDPE and [p-Cl-Phe4]DPDPE remain intact.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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