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Mesyl Salvinorin B (MSB) is a potent selective kappa opioid receptor (KOP-r) agonist that has potential for development as an anti-psychostimulant agent with fewer side-effects (e.g., sedation, depression and dysphoria) than classic KOP-r agonists. However, no such study has been done on alcohol. We investigated whether MSB alone or in combination with naltrexone (mu-opioid receptor antagonist) altered voluntary alcohol drinking in both male and female mice. Mice, subjected to 3weeks of chronic escalation drinking (CED) in a two-bottle choice paradigm with 24-h access every other day, developed rapid escalation of alcohol intake and high preference. We found that single, acute administration of MSB dose-dependently reduced alcohol intake and preference in mice after 3-week CED. The effect was specific to alcohol, as shown by the lack of any effect of MSB on sucrose or saccharin intake. We also used the drinking-in-the-dark (DID) model with limited access (4h/day) to evaluate the pharmacological effect of MSB after 3weeks of DID. However, MSB had no effect on alcohol drinking after 3-week DID. Upon investigation of potential synergistic effects between naltrexone and MSB, we found that acute administration of a combination of MSB and naltrexone reduced alcohol intake profoundly after 3-week CED at doses lower than those individual effective doses. Repeated administrations of this combination showed less tolerance development than repeated MSB alone. Our study suggests that the novel KOP-r agonist MSB both alone and in combination with naltrexone shows potential in alcoholism treatment models. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Yan Zhou, Rachel Saylor Crowley, Konrad Ben, Thomas E Prisinzano, Mary Jeanne Kreek. Synergistic blockade of alcohol escalation drinking in mice by a combination of novel kappa opioid receptor agonist Mesyl Salvinorin B and naltrexone. Brain research. 2017 May 01;1662:75-86

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PMID: 28263712

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