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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024

2024 Feb 21

Eur J Pharmacol


The blockade of neuropeptide FF receptor 1 and 2 differentially contributed to the modulating effects on fentanyl-induced analgesia and hyperalgesia in mice.


Chen D, Zhang M, Zhang Q, Wu S, Yu B, Zhang X, Hu X, Zhang S, Yang Z, Kuang J, Xu B, Fang Q


Neuropeptide FF (NPFF) plays a critical role in various physiological processes through the activation of neuropeptide FF receptor 1 and 2 (NPFFR1 and NPFFR2). Numerous evidence has indicated that NPFF exhibits opposite opioid-modulating effects on opioid-induced analgesia after supraspinal and spinal administrations, while the detailed role of NPFFR1 and NPFFR2 remains unclear. In this study, we employed pharmacological and genetic inhibition of NPFFR to investigate the modulating roles of central NPFFR1 and NPFFR2 in opioid-induced analgesia and hyperalgesia, using a male mouse model of acute fentanyl-induced analgesia and secondary hyperalgesia. Our findings revealed that intrathecal (i.t.) injection of the nonselective NPFFR antagonist RF9 significantly enhanced fentanyl-induced analgesia, whereas intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection did not show the same effect. Moreover, NPFFR2 deficient (npffr2) mice exhibited stronger analgesic responses to fentanyl compared to wild type (WT) or NPFFR1 knockout (npffr1) mice. Intrathecal injection of RF9 in npffr1 mice also significantly enhanced fentanyl-induced analgesia. These results indicate a crucial role of spinal NPFFR2 in the enhancement of opioid analgesia. Contrastingly, hyperalgesia induced by fentanyl was markedly reversed in npffr1 mice but remained unaffected in npffr2 mice. Similarly, i.c.v. injection of the selective NPFFR1 antagonist RF3286 effectively prevented fentanyl-induced hyperalgesia in WT or npffr2 mice. Notably, co-administration of i.c.v. RF3286 and i.t. RF9 augmented fentanyl-induced analgesia while reducing hyperalgesia. Collectively, these findings highlight the modulating effects of blocking spinal NPFFR2 and supraspinal NPFFR1 on fentanyl-induced analgesia and hyperalgesia, respectively, which shed a light on understanding the pharmacological function of NPFF system in future studies.