Inhibitory effects of opioids in a circular muscle-myenteric plexus preparation of guinea-pig ileum

S. M. Johnson, M. Costa, C. M.S. Humphreys, R. Shearman

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The actions of opioids were examined in a strip preparation of the external muscle and myenteric plexus of the guinea-pig ileum cut parallel to the circular muscle. Contractions of the circular muscle induced by electrical stimulation of myenteric neurons were depressed in a concentration-dependent manner by the mu agonists, morphine and DAGO, and by the kappa agonist, U-50,488H. The concentrations of morphine, DAGO and U-50,488H which depressed nerve-mediated contractions by 50% (IC50) were 86 nM, 11 nM and 5.0 nM, respectively. The equilibrium dissociation constants (KD) for naloxone as an antagonist of the inhibitory effects of DAGO and of U5-0,488H were 5.6 nM and 29.4 nM, respectively. In contrast to the potent inhibitory effects of mu and kappa agonists, the delta-selective agonist, d-Pen-l-Pen, produced only weak inhibition of nerve-mediated contractions. Even at a concentration of 3 μM, there was less than 50% inhibition, which was not antagonised by the delta receptor antagonist, ICI 174864. The experiments indicate that both mu and kappa opioid receptors are present on the myenteric neurons supplying the circular muscle and that delta receptors are either absent or ineffectively activated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-424
Number of pages6
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1987


  • Circular muscle
  • Guinea-pig ileum
  • Myenteric plexus
  • Naloxone
  • Opioid receptors


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