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Heliyon. 2017 Jun 7;3(6):e00317. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00317. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Attenuation of opioid tolerance by ETB receptor agonist, IRL-1620, is independent of an accompanied decrease in nerve growth factor in mice.

Author information

1
Chicago College of Health Sciences, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA.
2
Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

ETA receptor antagonists reverse opioid tolerance but the involvement of ETB receptors is unknown. In morphine or oxycodone tolerant mice we investigated (1) the effect of ETB receptor agonist, IRL-1620, on analgesic tolerance; (2) changes in expression of the brain ETA and ETB receptors; and (3) alterations in the brain VEGF, NGF, PI3K and notch-1 expression.

MAIN METHODS:

Body weight, body temperature, and tail-flick latency were assessed before and after a challenge dose of morphine or oxycodone in vehicle or IRL-1620 treated mice. Expression studies were carried out using Western blots.

KEY FINDINGS:

Tail flick latency to a challenge dose of opioid was significantly increased by IRL-1620 from 39% to 100% in morphine tolerant and from 8% to 83% in oxycodone tolerant mice. Morphine or oxycodone did not alter ETA or ETB receptor expression. IRL-1620 had no effect on ETA however it increased (61%) expression of ETB receptors. IRL-1620-induced increase in ETB receptor expression was attenuated by morphine (39.8%) and oxycodone (51.8%). VEGF expression was not affected by morphine or oxycodone and was unaltered by IRL-1620. However, NGF and PI3K expression was decreased (P < 0.001) by morphine and oxycodone and was unaffected by IRL-1620. Notch-1 expression was not altered by morphine, oxycodone or IRL-1620.

SIGNIFICANCE:

ETB receptor agonist, IRL-1620, restored analgesic tolerance to morphine and oxycodone, but it did not affect morphine and oxycodone induced decrease in NGF/PI3K expression. It is concluded that IRL-1620 attenuates opioid tolerance without the involvement of NGF/PI3K pathway.

KEYWORDS:

Neuroscience

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