Some in vivo agonist and antagonist properties of the putative k-compound bremazocine were characterized in rats. Bremazocine, at doses from 0.015-32 mg/kg i.p., delayed nociceptive reaction on a 55°C hot-plate with a dose-response curve not readily fitting a single straight line; this effect was antagonized by high doses of naloxone. In the same rats bremazocine did not delay the intestinal transit of a charcoal meal fed 5 min earlier and prevented morphine-induced constipation. This antagonism appeared to be opioif-specific and competitive, with apparent pA2 value 8.56. Catatonia induced by etorphine (0.004 mg/kg s.c.) and constipation induced by etorphine (0.004 mg/kg s.c.) and D-Ala2-D-Leu5-enkephalin (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) were completely antagonized by bremazocine (0.03-8 mg/kg i.p.). Antinociception induced by morphine (10 mg/kg i.v.) and etorphine (0.004 mg/kg s.c.) was only partly prevented. Naloxone (1 mg/kg) and bremazocine (0.015-1 mg/kg i.p.) precipitated a withdrawal syndrome, evaluated as jumping frequency, in rats rendered dependent to morphine. These data suggest the involvement of more than one opioid receptor population in bremazocine action in vivo.
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