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Pharmacol Toxicol. 1988 Mar;62(3):150-4.

Effect of mu- and kappa-opioid agonists on the electroconvulsive seizure threshold in mice and antagonism by naloxone and MR 2266.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany.


The effects of mu-agonists (morphine, fentanyl) and kappa-agonists (U-50,488, U-69,593, bremazocine, nalbuphine, tifluadom) on the electroconvulsive threshold were studied in mice. The threshold could be significantly elevated by all drugs tested in a dose range that was in the order of magnitude of the antinociceptive ED50. Mice tolerant to the antielectroshock effect of morphine still reacted to U-69,593. The antagonism of the anticonvulsant effect by the mu-antagonist naloxone and the kappa-antagonist MR 2266 was receptor-specific only with fentanyl and U-50,488. The other opioid agonists were either antagonized by both drugs (morphine, U-69,593, bremazocine, nalbuphine) or even by the opposite antagonist (tifluadom). A synergistic effect of mu- and kappa-stimulation is assumed for the mediation of the antielectroshock effect of opioid drugs, but drugs with high affinity and intrinsic activity at one receptor type (fentanyl, U-50,488) are obviously able to bring about their antielectroshock effect through the one respective opioid binding site.

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