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Br J Pharmacol. 1978 Dec;64(4):607-14.

Comparison of the receptor binding characteristics of opiate agonists interacting with mu- or kappa-receptors.


1 The receptor binding characteristics of various morphine-like and ketazocine-like opiate agonists were measured by inhibition of [3H]-naloxone binding in homogenates of brain and of ileal myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle of the guinea-pig. No differences were found for the two tissues. 2 The depressant effect of Na+ on the inhibition of [3H]-naloxone binding by opiate agonists varies widely, giving sodium shifts between 5 and 140. The relationship between Na+ concentration and inhibition of binding is non-linear, the magnitude of the sodium shift varying directly with the slope of the regression of log IC50 on log [NaCl]. 3 The sodium shift of ketazocine-like agonists is lower than that of morphine-like agonists but higher than that of opiates with dual agonist and antagonist action. A working hypothesis is proposed which suggests that the kappa-receptors for the ketazocine-like drugs are less susceptible to the Na+ effect than the mu-receptors for the morphine-like drugs. 4 For most of the morphine-like but not the ketazocine-like agonists, a good correlation has been found for the pharmacological activity in the myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle preparation and the inhibition of binding of [3H]-naloxone at 12 mM Na+. An exception is fentanyl which has a much greater pharmacological potency than may be expected from its potency in inhibiting [3H]-naloxone binding.

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