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Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 16




Differential effects of opioid receptor antagonism on the anti-dyskinetic and anti-parkinsonian effects of sub-anesthetic ketamine treatment in a preclinical model.


Stopera CJ, Bartlett MJ, Liu C, Esqueda A, Parmar R, Heien ML, Sherman SJ, Falk T


Sub-anesthetic ketamine treatment has been shown to be an effective therapy for treatment-resistant depression and chronic pain. Our group has previously shown that sub-anesthetic ketamine produces acute anti-parkinsonian, and acute anti-dyskinetic effects in preclinical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Ketamine is a multifunctional drug and exerts effects through blockade of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors but also through interaction with the opioid system. In this report, we provide detailed pharmacokinetic rodent data on ketamine and its main metabolites following an intraperitoneal injection, and second, we explore the pharmacodynamic properties of ketamine in a rodent PD model with respect to the opioid system, using naloxone, a pan-opioid receptor antagonist, in unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned male rats, treated with 6 mg/kg levodopa (l-DOPA) to establish a model of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). As previously reported, we showed that ketamine (20 mg/kg) is highly efficacious in reducing LID and now report that the magnitude of this effect is resistant to naloxone (3 and 5 mg/kg). The higher naloxone dose of 5 mg/kg, however, led to an extension of the time-course of the LID, indicating that opioid receptor activation, while not a prerequisite for the anti-dyskinetic effects of ketamine, still exerts an acute modulatory effect. In contrast to the mild modulatory effect on LID, we found that naloxone added to the anti-parkinsonian activity of ketamine, further reducing the akinetic phenotype. In conclusion, our data show opioid receptor blockade differentially modulates the acute anti-parkinsonian and anti-dyskinetic actions of ketamine, providing novel mechanistic information to support repurposing ketamine for individuals with LID.