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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2009 Mar;379(3):263-70. doi: 10.1007/s00210-008-0358-8. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Comparison of the diuretic effects of chemically diverse kappa opioid agonists in rats: nalfurafine, U50,488H, and salvinorin A.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Center for Substance Abuse Research, Temple University School of Medicine, 3420 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


Kappa opioid receptor agonists induce water diuresis in animals and humans. We investigated the effects of s.c. nalfurafine, U50,488H, salvinorin A, and its longer-acting analog, 2-methoxymethyl-salvinorin B (MOM-sal B), on urinary output and sodium excretion over 5 h in euvolemic rats. Nalfurafine (0.005-0.02 mg/kg), U50,488H (0.1-10 mg/kg), and MOM-sal B (0.625-5 mg/kg) induced diuresis dose-dependently. Systemically (0.1-10 mg/kg) or centrally (50 microg, i.c.v.) administered salvinorin A was ineffective. 5'-Guanidinonaltrindole, a kappa receptor antagonist, inhibited nalfurafine- and MOM-sal B-induced diuresis. Nalfurafine and MOM-sal B had no effect on arginine vasopressin levels, measured at 2 h. Tolerance did not develop to the diuresis accompanying subchronic administration of nalfurafine (0.02 mg/kg). On the basis of our work, we (a) promote nalfurafine as a candidate diuretic to relieve water retention and (b) highlight salvinorin A as a kappa agonist that does not cause diuresis, probably because of its short duration of action.

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