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J Neurochem. 1987 Feb;48(2):529-37.

Opposite effects of delta and mu opioid receptor agonists on the in vitro release of substance P-like material from the rat spinal cord.


Superfusion of slices from the dorsal half of the lumbar enlargement of rat spinal cord with Krebs-Henseleit medium supplemented with 30 microM bacitracin allowed the collection of substance P-like immunoreactive material (SPLI), which was released at a rate of approximately 10 pg/4 min. Tissue depolarization by an excess of K+ (30-60 mM) or veratridine (50 microM) induced a marked increase in SPLI outflow, provided that Ca2+ was present in the superfusing fluid. K+- or veratridine-induced SPLI overflow could be modulated in opposite directions by mu and delta opioid receptor agonists. Thus, the two preferential mu agonists Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-MePhe-Gly-ol (DAGO; 10 microM) and Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-MePhe-Met(O)5-OH (FK-33824; 0.1 microM) enhanced SPLI overflow from depolarized tissues, whereas the selective delta agonists Tyr-D-Thr-Gly-Phe-Leu-Thr (deltakephalin; 3 microM) and [2-D-penicillamine, 5-D-penicillamine]enkephalin (50 microM) reduced it. The effect of DAGO was antagonized by a low concentration (1 microM) of naloxone but not by the selective delta antagonist ICI-154129 (50 microM). In contrast, the latter drug prevented the inhibitory influence of delta agonists on K+-induced SPLI release. Complementary experiments with morphine (10 microM) and [2-D-alanine, 5-D-leucine]enkephalinamide (3 microM), in combination with 1 microM naloxone or 50 microM ICI-154129 for the selective blockade of mu or delta receptors, respectively, confirmed that the stimulation of mu receptors increased, whereas the stimulation of delta receptors reduced, SPLI overflow. The results suggest that, at the spinal level, and antinociceptive action of delta but not mu agonists might involve a presynaptic inhibition of substance P-containing primary afferent fibers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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