κ-Opioid receptor effects of butorphanol in rhesus monkeys

Jeffrey A. Vivian, Michael B. Deyoung, Tina L. Sumpter, John R. Traynor, John W. Lewis, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Butorphanol and nalbuphine have substantial affinity for μ and κ- opioid receptor sites, yet their behavioral effects in monkeys are largely consistent with a μ receptor mechanism of action. Using ethylketocyclazocine (EKC) discrimination and diuresis assays in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), the purpose of the current investigation was to characterize the in vivo κ- opioid activity of these compounds through the use of an insurmountable μ- opioid receptor antagonist, clocinnamox. Alone, butorphanol (0.001-0.032 mg/kg i.m.) failed to generalize to EKC, and pretreatment with the competitive opioid receptor antagonist quadazocine (0.1 or 0.32 mg/kg i.m.) did not alter this generalization. At 24 h after clocinnamox (0.1 mg/kg i.m.) administration, butorphanol fully generalized to EKC, and this generalization was maintained in two of three monkeys at 72 h. Parallel results were observed in diuresis: butorphanol alone and in the presence of quadazocine (1 mg/kg i.m.) did not alter urine output, and a marked diuretic effect was demonstrated 24 h to 2 weeks after clocinnamox administration. Clocinnamox did not alter the discriminative stimulus or diuretic effects of nalbuphine or of the κ-opioid receptor agonists EKC or U69593. These results are consistent with an in vivo agonist activity of butorphanol at κ-opioid receptors that can only be demonstrated when an insurmountable antagonist has substantially eliminated the dominant receptor population through which it exerts its action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume290
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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