D-Ala2,F5Phe4-Dynorphin Amide, an Opiate With Analgesic and Toxic Properties

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A novel analog of dynorphin (1-13), D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide, was prepared and its pharmacological spectrum of activity was investigated. In a hot plate test on Swiss Webster and C57Bl mice, a 20 μg intracerebroventricular (icv) dose of the analog produced analgesia, which was greater in potency and duration than the parent dynorphin. This action of D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide was antagonized by the opiate receptor antagonist naloxone (2 mg/kg ip), administered either before or after the peptide. In addition to its analgesic action in mice, D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide produced a Straub tail and a catatonic-like state, both of which were also attenuated by naloxone. On the electrically-stimulated mouse vas deferens preparation, in vitro, D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide inhibited contractile activity and had an IC50 of 108.2 ± 34.7 nM (SEM), about 4-fold weaker than that of dynorphin. This action was also attenuated by naloxone. An icv dose of 150μg of D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide in mice, and a cumulative series of icv doses up to 2600μg in anesthetized rats, failed to produce a lethal effect. No pathological changes were observed in mouse liver kidney at 24 h after a 50 mg/kg dose of the peptide analog. In rats anesthetized with diallylbarbital (70 mg/kg ip) and urethane (280 mg/kg ip), D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide did not modify blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. However, when mice were injected peripherally with single doses of D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide, convulsive episodes were produced, and lethal effects were observed with an LD50 of 60.0 mg/kg (95% confidence limits: 49.7-70.2 mg/kg) at 48 h. This action of D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide was not attenuated by naloxone (2.0 mg/kg, ip). Although analgesic and behavioral effects of D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide (e.g. Straub tail and catatonic-like state) are opiate-like, the lethal effect may be the consequence of actions of the peptide on non-opiate systems. Thus, the novel fluorinated dynorphin analog, D-Ala2,F5Phe4-dynorphin amide, may be a useful chemical tool for the study of opiate systems and their occasionally unanticipated biological or toxic actions.

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