DSLET (D-Ser2-Leu5-Enkephalin-Thr6) produces analgesia on the hot plate by mechanisms largely different from DAGO and morphine-like opioids

J. K. Belknap, S. E. Laursen

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10 Scopus citations


Fifteen generations of selective breeding were used to produce lines (strains) of mice which differ markedly from one another in levorphanol-induced antinociception on the hot plate assay. These are the high antinociceptive response (HAR) and low antinociceptive response (LAR) selection lines, which now differ by over 5-fold in the i.p. dose of levorphanol doubling control (no drug or saline) latency scores. We sought to determine if these large genetically-mediated differences in antinociceptive sensitivity bred into these selection lines with i.p. levorphanol would generalize equally to a series of enkephalin analogues known to differ in their selectivity for mu and delta opioid receptors. DAGO (D-ala2, MePhe4, Gly-ol5 enkephalin), a highly mu selective agent, produced a 67-fold difference between HAR and LAR mice in the slopes of the dose-response curves on the hot plate assay, while DSLET (D-ser2, leu enkephalin Thr6), a delta selective agent, only produced a 5.4-fold difference via the i.c.v. route. DADLE (D-ala, D-ser enkephalin) a slightly delta preferring ligand, was found to be intermediate (17.4-fold difference). These findings demonstrate that selective breeding has been quite successful in altering those genes which control analgesia due to mu selective agents, while relatively little change has occurred in those genes which control analgesia due to delta agonists. Thus, analgesia mediated by the former has been genetically dissociated from analgesia mediated by the latter, implying that DAGO has mechanisms of action largely dependent of DSLET on the hot plate assay. These findings are consistent with the contention that the mu receptor mediates analgesia produced by DAGO, while a different receptor (presumably delta) mediates much of the analgesic effects of DSLET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 27 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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