Lipo-Endomorphin-1 Derivatives with Systemic Activity against Neuropathic Pain without Producing Constipation
by Pegah Varamini, Friederike M. Mansfeld, Joanne T. Blanchfield, Bruce D. Wyse, Maree T. Smith, Istvan Toth
To enhance the drug-like properties of the endogenous opioid peptide endomorphin-1 (1 = Tyr-Pro-Trp-Phe-NH2), the N-terminus of the peptide was modified with 2-aminodecanoic acid, resulting in compound 3. Tyr in compound 1 was replaced with 2,6-dimethyltyrosine yielding compound 2. Derivative 2 was also substituted with 2-aminodecanoic acid producing compound, 4. Lipoamino acid-modified derivatives showed improved metabolic stability and membrane permeability while maintaining high μ-opioid (MOP) receptor binding affinity and acting as a potent agonist. In vivo studies showed dose-dependent antinociceptive activity following intravenous (i.v.) administration of compounds 3 and 4 in a chronic constriction injury (CCI)-rat model of neuropathic pain with ED50 values of 1.22 (±0.93) and 0.99 (±0.89) µmol/kg, respectively. Pre-treatment of animals with naloxone hydrochloride significantly attenuated the anti-neuropathic effects of compound 3, confirming the key role of opioid receptors in mediating antinociception. In contrast to morphine, no significant constipation was produced following i.v. administration of compound 3 at 16 µmol/kg. Furthermore, following chronic administration of equi-potent doses of compound 3 and morphine to rats, there was less antinociceptive tolerance for compound 3 compared with morphine.
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