In vivo characterization of MMP-2200, a mixed δ/μ opioid agonist, in mice

John J. Lowery, Tyler J. Raymond, Denise Giuvelis, Jean M. Bidlack, Robin Polt, Edward J. Bilsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We have previously reported the chemistry and antinociceptive properties of a series of glycosylated enkephalin analogs (glycopeptides) exhibiting approximately equal affinity and efficacy at δ opioid receptors (DORs) and μ opioid receptors (MORs). More detailed pharmacology of the lead glycopeptide MMP-2200 [H2N-Tyr-D-Thr-Gly-Phe-Leu-Ser-(O-β-D- lactose)-CONH2] is presented. MMP-2200 produced dose-related antinociception in the 55°C tail-flick assay after various routes of administration. The antinociceptive effects of MMP-2200 were blocked by pretreatment with the general opioid antagonist naloxone and partially blocked by the MOR-selective antagonist β-funaltrexamine and the DOR-selective antagonist naltrindole. The κ opioid receptor antagonist nor-binaltorphimine and the peripherally active opioid antagonist naloxone-methiodide were ineffective in blocking the antinociceptive effects of MMP-2200. At equi-antinociceptive doses, MMP-2200 produced significantly less stimulation of locomotor activity compared with morphine. Repeated administration of equivalent doses of morphine and MMP-2200 (twice daily for 3 days) produced antinociceptive tolerance (∼13- and 5-fold right-ward shifts, respectively). In acute and chronic physical dependence assays, naloxone precipitated a more severe withdrawal in mice receiving morphine compared with equivalent doses of the glycopeptide. Both morphine and MMP-2200 inhibited respiration and gastrointestinal transit. In summary, MMP-2200 acts as a mixed DOR/MOR agonist in vivo, which may in part account for its high antinociceptive potency after systemic administration, as well as its decreased propensity to produce locomotor stimulation, tolerance, and physical dependence in mice, compared with the MOR-selective agonist morphine. For other measures (e.g., gastrointestinal transit and respiration), the significant MOR component may not allow differentiation from morphine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-778
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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