Chronic l-α-acetylmethadol (LAAM) in rhesus monkeys: Tolerance and cross-tolerance to the antinociceptive, ventilatory, and rate-decreasing effects of opioids

Michael R. Brandt, Charles P. France

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although l-α-acetylmethadol (LAAM) is a maintenance treatment for opioid dependence, few studies have systematically assessed the behavioral effects of LAAM and other drugs in LAAM-treated subjects. In the current study, we assessed the ventilatory, antinociceptive, and rate-decreasing effects of drugs (s.c. except dynorphin, which was administered i.v.) in rhesus monkeys (n = 3 or 4) before and during chronic treatment with 1.0 mg/kg/12 h LAAM (s.c.). Minute volume (V(E)) was reduced to 62% of baseline during LAAM treatment and remained depressed after more than 10 months of LAAM treatment. A cumulative dose of 10.0 mg/kg morphine decreased V(E) to similar values under baseline (53%) and LAAM-treated (52%) conditions; however, larger doses of morphine (up to 56.0 mg/kg) could be administered safely to LAAM-treated monkeys. LAAM treatment produced dependence as evidenced by a 220% increase in V(E) after a dose of naltrexone (0.032 mg/kg) that did not modify ventilation under baseline conditions. Compared with baseline, LAAM treatment increased the ED50 values for the rate-decreasing effects of nalbuphine, morphine, and alfentanil by 7-, 7-, and 2-fold, respectively, in monkeys responding under a fixed ratio 10 schedule of food presentation, similarly, LAAM treatment increased ED50 values for the antinociceptive effects of morphine and alfentanil by 5- and 3-fold, respectively. LAAM treatment also increased the ED50 values for the antinociceptive effects of the κ-agonist enadoline by 5-fold and not those of U-50,488. That tolerance developed differentially to the ventilatory, rate, and antinociceptive effects of μ-agonists in LAAM-treated monkeys suggests that cross-tolerance might not be a safe therapeutic approach for the treatment of some opioid abusers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-178
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume294
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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