Rapid communicationIncreases in opioid-mediated swim antinociception following endopeptidase 24.15 inhibition
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThe duration of action and potency of endogenous opioid peptides are limited by proteolytic enzumes such as endopeptidases 24.11 and 24.15. Whereas endopeptidase 24.11 cleaves enkephalin pentapeptides, endopeptidase 24.15 degrades longer-chained opioids including dynorphin A1–8 and met-enkephalin-Arg6-Gly7-Leu8 (MERGL). Inhibitors of endopeptidase 24.11 and 24.15 both increase basal nociceptive thresholds and respective forms of opioid antinociception. Acute exposure to certain environmental stressors can produce antinociception which is opioid mediated; inhibitors of endopeptidase 24.11 potentiate this effect. The present study evaluated whether central administration of a selective inhibitor of endopeptidase 24.15, N-[1-(RS)-carboxy-3-phenylpropyl]-Ala-Ala-Phe-p-aminobenzoate (cFP-AAF-pAB) increased antinociception following intermittent cold-water swims (ICWS) in rats. cFP-AAF-pAB (0.25–25 nmol, ICV) dose-dependently increased ICWS antinociception on the tail-flick and jump tests without affecting basal nociceptive thresholds. The opioid mediation of ICWS antinociception was confirmed by significant reductions in this response following naloxone. These data indicate that longer-chained endogenous opioid peptides participate in the antinociception induced by ICWS.

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