Facilitation of enkephalins catabolism inhibitor-induced
antinociception by drugs classically used in pain management

Nieto MM, Wilson J, Walker J, Benavides J, Fournie-Zaluski MC, Roques BP, Noble F.
Departement de Pharmacochimie Moleculaire et Structurale,
INSERM U266-CNRS UMR 8600, Universite Rene Descartes,
4, Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75270 Paris Cedex 06, France.
Neuropharmacology 2001 Sep;41(4):496-506


The aim of this study was to investigate the facilitatory effects of subanalgesic or low doses of different drugs (acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen and morphine) on the antinociceptive responses induced by the endogenous opioid peptides, enkephalins, protected from their catabolism by the dual enkephalin-degrading enzymes inhibitor RB101. According to the analgesic profile of the three studied compounds different antinociceptive assays were used: the hot plate and formalin tests in mice, and the tail flick and paw pressure tests on inflamed paws in rats and polyarthritic rats. Facilitatory effects of subanalgesic doses of acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen on RB101-induced antinociceptive responses were observed in the early and late phases of the formalin test, respectively. In the hot plate, tail flick and paw pressure tests, the dose-dependent analgesic effects of RB101 were strongly potentiated by subanalgesic doses of morphine (0.5 mg/kg), while in these tests, acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen were unable to modify the RB101-induced antinociceptive responses. The synergism in antinociceptive effects observed with the combination of RB101 and morphine supported by isobolographic analysis, may have interesting clinical implications, considering both the lack of opiate drawbacks observed with RB101 and the high potentiation of its antinociceptive effects with very low doses of morphine.
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