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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Jul;233(13):2479-87. doi: 10.1007/s00213-016-4296-8. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

The behavioral effects of a mixed efficacy antinociceptive peptide, VRP26, following chronic administration in mice.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.
2
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. him@umich.ed.
3
Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA. ejutkiew@umich.edu.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

VRP26 displays mu opioid receptor agonist and delta opioid receptor antagonist activity in vitro, a pharmacological profile purported to produce reduced tolerance, dependence, and rewarding effects. We hypothesized that VRP26 would display reduced adverse effects after chronic administration as compared with the traditional opioid analgesic fentanyl.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to explore the development of tolerance, dependence, and conditioned place preference of VRP26 as compared with the traditional opioid analgesic fentanyl.

METHODS:

The antinociceptive effects of VRP26 and fentanyl were assessed using the mouse warm water tail withdrawal (WWTW) assay. Measurement of antinociceptive tolerance and physical dependence occurred after 7 days of continuous administration of either fentanyl (0.3 mg/kg/day) or VRP26 (10 mg/kg/day); tolerance was measured by a shift in the antinociceptive dose response curve in the WWTW assay. Physical dependence was determined by observation of withdrawal symptoms after precipitated withdrawal. Rewarding effects were measured by the ability of VRP26 or fentanyl to produce conditioned place preference.

RESULTS:

Fentanyl produced significant tolerance and dependence, as well as significant conditioned place preference. VRP26 produced neither tolerance nor physical dependence, nor did it produce significant conditioned place preference.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that chronic treatment with VRP26 may produce less tolerance or physical dependence than chronic treatment with clinically available mu opioid analgesics such as fentanyl. Additionally, VRP26 produces less rewarding effects than fentanyl. This desirable in vivo profile may be due to the mixed efficacy nature of VRP26 and could provide the framework for safer opioid analgesics.

KEYWORDS:

Conditioned place preference; Delta opioid receptor; Dependence; Mixed efficacy; Reward; Tolerance; mu opioid receptor

PMID:
27117141
PMCID:
PMC5068912
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-016-4296-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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