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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2013 Sep;346(3):545-54. doi: 10.1124/jpet.113.206086. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Physical presence of nor-binaltorphimine in mouse brain over 21 days after a single administration corresponds to its long-lasting antagonistic effect on κ-opioid receptors.

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Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Port St Lucie, Florida 34987, USA.


In the mouse 55°C warm-water tail-withdrawal assay, a single administration of nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI; 10 mg/kg i.p.) antagonized κ-opioid receptor (KOR) agonist-induced antinociception up to 14 days, whereas naloxone (10 mg/kg i.p.)-mediated antagonism lasted less than 1 day. In saturation binding experiments, mouse brain membranes isolated and washed 1 or 7 (but not 14) days after nor-BNI administration demonstrated a significant time-dependent decrease in maximal KOR agonist [(3)H]U69,593 binding. To determine whether brain concentrations of nor-BNI were sufficient to explain the antagonism of KOR-mediated antinociception, mouse blood and perfused brain were harvested at time points ranging from 30 minutes to 21 days after a single administration and analyzed for the presence of nor-BNI using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Nor-BNI was detected in the perfused brain homogenate up to 21 days after administration (30 nmol i.c.v. or 10 mg/kg i.p.). Subsequent experiments in which nor-BNI was administered at doses estimated from the amounts detected in the brain homogenates isolated from pretreated mice over time demonstrated significant antagonism of U50,488 antinociception in a manner consistent with the magnitude of observed KOR antagonism. The dose (1.4 nmol) approximating the lowest amount of nor-BNI detected in brain on day 14 did not antagonize U50,488-induced antinociception, consistent with the absence of U50,488 antagonism observed in vivo at this time point after pretreatment. Overall, the physical presence of nor-BNI in the mouse brain paralleled its in vivo pharmacological profile, suggesting physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of nor-BNI may contribute to the prolonged KOR antagonism.

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