The Opioid Interactions of the Antipsychotic Medications Risperidone and Amisulpride in Mice and Their Potential Use in the Treatment of Other Non-Psychotic Medical Conditions

Shaul Schreiber, Chaim G. Pick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The opioid epidemic in the USA has highlighted the need for alternative treatments for pain. Following reports on the opioid interactions of various antipsychotic medications, we speculated that the involvement of the opioid system in some of the antipsychotics’ mechanism of action may suggest their potential use in the treatment of pain. Risperidone is a neuroleptic with a potent dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2 receptor-blocking activity as well as a high affinity for adrenergic and histamine H1 receptors. Amisulpride is a neuroleptic which selectively blocks dopamine D2 and D3 receptors. Both had a potent antinociceptive effect on ICR mice tested with a tail flick assay. That effect on both medications was antagonized by naloxone, indicating that at least some of the antinociceptive effects were mediated by an opioid mechanism of action. Further investigation found that β-Funaltrexamine hydrochloride (β-FNA), naloxonazine, and nor-Binaltorphimine dihydrochloride (nor-BNI) reversed the antinociceptive effect of both risperidone and amisulpride. Naltrindole at a dose that blocked [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE, δ analgesia) blocked notably amisplride effect and only partially reversed that of risperidone. Risperidone induced an antinociceptive effect, implying involvement of μ and κ-opioid and δ-opioid mechanisms. Amisulpride-induced antinociception was mediated through selective involvement of all three opioid receptor subtypes. These findings emphasize the need for clinical trials to assess the possibility of extending the spectrum of medications available for the treatment of pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1084
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Amisulpride
  • Antipsychotics
  • Opioid receptor subtypes
  • Pain
  • Risperidone
  • Tail flick

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