There are no Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for cocaine use disorder, including relapse. The μ-opioid receptor (MOPr) partial agonist buprenorphine alone or in combination with naltrexone has been shown to reduce cocaine-positive urine tests and cocaine seeking in rodents. However, there are concerns over the abuse liability of buprenorphine. Buprenorphine's partial agonist and antagonist activity at the nociception receptor (NOPr) and κ-opioid receptor (KOPr), respectively, may contribute to its ability to inhibit cocaine seeking. Thus, we hypothesized that a buprenorphine derivative that exhibits antagonist activity at MOPr and KOPr with enhanced agonist activity at the NOPr could provide a more effective treatment. Here we compare the pharmacology of buprenorphine and two analogs, BU10119 and BU12004, in assays for antinociception and for cocaine- and stress-primed reinstatement in the conditioned place preference paradigm. In vitro and in vivo assays showed that BU10119 acts as an antagonist at MOPr, KOPr, and δ-opioid receptor (DOPr) and a partial agonist at NOPr, whereas BU12004 showed MOPr partial agonist activity and DOPr, KOPr, and NOPr antagonism. BU10119 and buprenorphine but not BU12004 lessened cocaine-primed reinstatement. In contrast, BU10119, BU12004, and buprenorphine blocked stress-primed reinstatement. The selective NOPr agonist SCH221510 but not naloxone decreased cocaine-primed reinstatement. Together, these findings are consistent with the concept that NOPr agonism contributes to the ability of BU10119 and buprenorphine to attenuate reinstatement of cocaine-conditioned place preference in mice. The findings support the development of buprenorphine analogs lacking MOPr agonism with increased NOPr agonism for relapse prevention to cocaine addiction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: There are no Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for cocaine use disorder. Buprenorphine has shown promise as a treatment for cocaine relapse prevention; however, there are concerns over the abuse liability of buprenorphine. Here we show a buprenorphine analogue, BU10119, which lacks μ-opioid receptor agonism and inhibits cocaine-primed and stress-primed reinstatement in a conditioned place-preference paradigm. The results suggest the development of BU10119 for the management of relapse to cocaine seeking.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2021|
- Receptors, Opioid, mu