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Akt (protein kinase B) signaling is frequently activated in diverse cancers. Akt inhibitors such as perifosine and MK-2206 have been evaluated as potential cancer chemotherapeutics. Although both drugs are generally well tolerated, among their most common side-effects vomiting is a major concern. Here we investigated whether these Akt inhibitors evoke emesis in the least shrew model of vomiting. Indeed, both perifosine and MK-2206 induced vomiting with maximal efficacies of 90% at 50 mg/kg (i.p.) and 100% at 10 mg/kg (i.p.), respectively. MK-2206 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) increased c-Fos immunoreactivity both centrally in the shrew brainstem dorsal vagal complex (DVC) emetic nuclei, and peripherally in the jejunum. MK-2206 also evoked phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in both the DVC emetic nuclei and the enteric nervous system in the jejunum. The ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 suppressed MK-2206-induced emesis dose-dependently. We then evaluated the suppressive efficacy of diverse antiemetics against MK-2206-evoked vomiting including antagonists/inhibitors of the: L-type Ca2+ channel (nifedipine at 2.5 mg/kg, subcutaneously (s.c.)); glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) (AR-A014418 at 10 mg/kg and SB216763 at 0.25 mg/kg, i.p.); 5-hydroxytryptamine 5-HT3 receptor (palonosetron at 0.5 mg/kg, s.c.); substance P neurokinin NK1 receptor (netupitant at 10 mg/kg, i.p.) and dopamine D2/3 receptor (sulpride at 8 mg/kg, s.c.). All tested antagonists/blockers attenuated emetic parameters to varying degrees. In sum, this is the first study to demonstrate how pharmacological inhibition of Akt evokes vomiting via both central and peripheral mechanisms, a process which involves multiple emetic receptors. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Weixia Zhong, Seetha Chebolu, Nissar A Darmani. Central and peripheral emetic loci contribute to vomiting evoked by the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 in the least shrew model of emesis. European journal of pharmacology. 2021 Jun 05;900:174065

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PMID: 33775646

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