Antagonistic and rate-suppressing effects of opioid antagonists in the pigeon

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pigeons trained to peck a key on a fixed-ratio 20 schedule of food presentation were used to evaluate the antagonistic and rate-suppressing effects of several opioid antagonists. Antagonism was measured as an increase in the dose of morphine necessary to suppress responding. Antagonist pretreatments increased the suppressing dose of morphine, although the magnitude of the increase varied markedly among different antagonists. Rank order of the maximum increase in the suppressing dose of morphine that each antagonist produced was: naltrexone = WIN 44,441 > β-funaltrexamine > naloxone = buprenorphine > MR 2266 > diprenorphine. The time course of morphine antagonism also differed among antagonists. For example, buprenorphine was not an effective antagonist when administered 10 min before morphine, but was effective when administered either 2 or 12 hr before morphine. β-Funaltrexamine and WIN 44,441 had the longest durations of antagonist action; each antagonized the rate-suppressing effects of morphine from 10 min to 24 hr. The effective antagonistic dose range (i.e., doses which blocked the rate-suppressing effects of morphine without affecting response rate when administered alone) and maximum increase in the suppressing dose of morphine were highly correlated, suggesting that the direct effects of most of these antagonists on responding may limit their effectiveness as morphine antagonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-447
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume235
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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