Key words Opioids
BAY K 8644
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The influence of the L-type Ca2+ channel modulators nimodipine (a Ca2+ blocker) and BAY K 8644 (a Ca2+ activator) on the expression of tolerance to the inhibitory effects of κ- and μ-opioid agonists in the guinea-pig ileum from guinea-pigs rendered tolerant to the κ-opioid receptor agonist U-50,488H was investigated. Tolerance to U-50,488H was induced by its administration (15 mg/kg twice a day) for 4 days. Control groups received saline at the same time schedule. Chronic infusion of guinea-pigs with nimodipine (2 μg/μl/h for 7 days) or BAY K 8644 (0.5 μg/μl/h for 7 days), did not cause any modification of the height of contractions induced by electrical stimulation of the myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle (MPLM) preparation from naïve guinea-pigs. The Ca2+ antagonist nimodipine increases the potency of U-50,488H (selective κ agonist) to reduce the amplitude of neurogenic contractions of the MPLM strip in naïve animals, whereas the Ca2+ activator BAY K 8644 induced the opposite effect. However, the effect of DAMGO (selective μ agonist) was not modified in guinea-pigs infused with nimodipine or BAY K 8644. Tolerance to the inhibitory effects of both U-50,488H and DAMGO was observed following administration of U-50,488H for 4 days and was revealed as a rightward shift of the concentration-response curves for the two agonists. Chronic infusion of guinea-pigs with nimodipine concurrently with chronic U-50,488H, markedly attenuated the expression of selective tolerance to U-50,488H as well as the cross-tolerance between U-50,488H and DAMGO. By the contrary, the magnitude of tolerance to U-50,488H and to DAMGO was enhanced by concomitant infusion of BAY K 8644. The results suggest that, in the GPI, κ-opioid receptor may be functionally linked to the dihydropyridine sensitive Ca2+ channel: The blockade of the channel increased whereas its activation reduced the potency of U-50,488H. In chronic experiments, nimodipine prevented the expression of tolerance to U-50,488H and the cross-tolerance between U-50,488H and DAMGO, whereas BAY K 8644 produced the opposite effect. These results suggest that, in the GPI, selective tolerance to κ-agonist as well as cross-tolerance between κ- and μ-opioid agonists would involve activation of L-type Ca2+ channels, which could indicate that intracellular Ca2+ may be the final common pathway through which myenteric neurons adapt to the chronic opioid exposure.
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