The synergistic antinociceptive interactions of endomorphin-1 with dexmedetomidine and/or S(+)-ketamine in rats

Gyöngyi Horvath, Gabriella Joo, Ildiko Dobos, Walter Klimscha, Geza Toth, György Benedek

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Spinal administration of the endogenous μ-opioid agonist peptide, endomorphin-1, results in antinociception in rodents, but there are few data about its interaction with other antinociceptive drugs. We investigated the antinociceptive interactions at the spinal level of endomorphin-1 with the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist S(+)-ketamine, the α2-adrenoceptor agonist dexmedetomidine, or both in awake rats. Nociception was assessed by the tail-flick test. Dose-response curves were determined for endomorphin-1 (0.6-50/μg), for dexmedetomidine (0.1-10 μg), for mixtures of S(+)-ketamine (30 or 100 μg) with endomorphin-1 (2-18 μg) or of endomorphin-1 with dexmedetomidine in a fixed ratio (4:1), and for the triple combination of the three drugs after intrathecal administration. Endomorphin-1 and dexmedetomidine both produced dose-dependent antinociception. The coadministration of 100 μg S(+)-ketamine significantly enhanced the antinociceptive effect of 6 μg endomorphin-1. Isobolographic analysis of the combinations of endomorphin-1 and dexmedetomidine revealed a synergistic interaction between these drugs. The 80% effective dose for the triple combination was significantly less than that for either binary combination. These data indicate that S(+)-ketamine and dexmedetomidine, acting via different receptors, produce synergistic antinociceptive interaction with endomorphin-1 at the spinal level. Furthermore, the triple combination of an opioid agonist, an α2-adrenoceptor agonist, and an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist shows potent antinociceptive activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1024
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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