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Papers: 22 Jun 2024 - 28 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 24

Eur J Pharmacol


BNT12, a novel hybrid peptide of opioid and neurotensin pharmacophores, produces potent central antinociception with limited side effects.


Wang SY, Zhang YZ, Liu XH, Guo XC, Wang XF, Wang JR, Liu BJ, Han FT, Zhang Y, Wang CL


The development of multitarget opioid drugs has emerged as an attractive approach for innovative pain management with reduced side effects. In the present study, a novel hybrid peptide BNT12 containing the opioid and neurotensin (NT)-like fragments was synthesized and pharmacologically characterized. In acute radiant heat paw withdrawal test, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of BNT12 produced potent antinociception in mice. The central antinociceptive activity of BNT12 was mainly mediated by μ-, δ-opioid receptor, neurotensin receptor type 1 (NTSR1) and 2 (NTSR2), supporting a multifunctional agonism of BNT12 in the functional assays. BNT12 also exhibited significant antinociceptive effects in spared nerve injury (SNI)-neuropathic pain, complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammatory pain, acetic acid-induced visceral and formalin-induced pain after i.c.v. administration. Furthermore, BNT12 exhibited substantial reduction of acute antinociceptive tolerance, shifted the dose-response curve to the right by only 1.3-fold. It is noteworthy that BNT12 showed insignificant chronic antinociceptive tolerance at the supraspinal level. In addition, BNT12 exhibited reduced or no opioid-like side effects on conditioned place preference (CPP) response, naloxone-precipitated withdrawal response, acute hyperlocomotion, motor coordination, gastrointestinal transit, and cardiovascular responses. The present investigation demonstrated that the novel hybrid peptide BNT12 might serve as a promising analgesic candidate with limited opioid-like side effects.