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SLL-039 (N-cyclopropylmethyl-7α-4'-(N'-benzoyl) amino-phenyl-6,14-endoethano-tetrahydronorthebaine) and SLL-1206 (N-cyclopropylmethyl-7α-3'-(p-methoxybenzyl) amino-phenyl-6,14-endoethano-tetrahydronorthebaine) are two 4,5-epoxymorphinan-based high selective κ receptor agonists that we recently discovered. In the present study we characterized their pharmacological properties in comparison with arylacetamide-based typical κ agonist U50,488H. We showed that both SLL-039 and SLL-1206 produced potent and long-lasting antinociceptive actions in three different rodent models of pain via activation of κ opioid receptor. In hot-plate assay, the antinociceptive potency of SLL-039 and SLL-1206 increased about 11-and 17.3-fold compared to U50,488H and morphine, respectively, with ED50 values of 0.4 mg/kg. Following repeated administration, SLL-1206, SLL-039, and U50,488H all developed analgesic tolerance tested in hot-plate assay. U50,488H and SLL-039 produced antipruritic effects in a dose-dependent manner, whereas SLL-1206 displayed some antipruritic effects only at very low doses. In addition, SLL-1206 was capable of decreasing morphine-induced physical dependence. More importantly, SLL-039 and SLL-1206 at effective analgesic doses did not cause sedation and conditioned place aversion (CPA), whereas U50,488H did. In comparison with SLL-039, SLL-1206 caused similar antinociceptive responses, but fewer sedation and CPA. In conclusion, our results suggest that SLL-039 and SLL-1206 have potential to be developed as novel analgesic agents, and 4,5-expoxymorphinan scaffold is an attractive structure for the development of selective κ agonists with fewer side effects. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to CPS and SIMM.


Yuan-Yuan Wei, Yan Ma, Song-Yu Yao, Ling-Hui Kong, Xiao Liu, Jing-Rui Chai, Jing Chen, Wei Li, Yu-Jun Wang, Li-Ming Shao, Jing-Gen Liu. Novel selective κ agonists SLL-039 and SLL-1206 produce potent antinociception with fewer sedation and aversion. Acta pharmacologica Sinica. 2022 Jun;43(6):1372-1382

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PMID: 34493813

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