I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Mar 15

Eur J Pharmacol


Intracerebroventricular administration of CYX-6, a potent μ-opioid receptor agonist, a δ- and κ-opioid receptor antagonist and a biased ligand at μ, δ & κ-opioid receptors, evokes antinociception with minimal constipation and respiratory depression


Mu opioid receptor (MOPr) agonists are thought to produce analgesia via modulation of G-protein-coupled intracellular signalling pathways whereas the β-arrestin2 pathway is proposed to mediate opioid-related adverse effects. Here, we report the antinociception, constipation and respiratory depressant profile of CYX-6, a potent MOPr agonist that is also a delta and a kappa opioid receptor (DOPr/KOPr) antagonist and that lacks β-arrestin2 recruitment at each of the MOPr, DOPr and the KOPr. In anaesthetised male Sprague Dawley rats, an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) guide cannula was stereotaxically implanted. After 5-7 days post-surgical recovery, rats received a single i.c.v. bolus dose of CYX-6 (3-30 nmol), morphine (100 nmol) or vehicle. Antinociception was assessed using the warm water tail flick test (52.5 ± 0.5 °C). Constipation was assessed using the charcoal meal gut motility test and the castor oil-induced diarrhoea test. Respiratory depression was measured by whole-body plethysmography in awake, freely moving animals, upon exposure to a hypercapnic gas mixture (8% CO, 21% O and 71% N). The intrinsic pharmacology of CYX-6 given by the i.c.v. route in rats showed that it produced dose-dependent antinociception. It also produced respiratory stimulation rather than depression and it had a minimal effect on intestinal motility in contrast to the positive control, morphine. CYX-6 is an endomorphin-2 analogue that dissociates antinociception from constipation and respiratory depression in rats. Our findings provide useful insight to inform the discovery and development of novel opioid analgesics with a superior tolerability profile compared with morphine.