Endopeptidase 24.15 inhibition and opioid antinociception

Benjamin Kest, Marion Orlowski, Richard J. Bodnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Whereas endopeptidase 24.11 cleaves the Gly-Phe bond in both Met- and Leu-enkephalin, endopeptidase 24.15 rapidly converts dynorphin A1-8, alpha and beta-neoendorphin into Leu-enkephalin, and Met-enkephalin-Arg6-Gly7-Leu8 (MERGL) into Met-enkephalin. Inhibitors of both endopeptidase 24.11 and endopeptidase 24.15 each produce antinociception, and inhibitors of endopeptidase 24.11 increase the magnitude of enkephalin antinociception. The present study compared the central antinociceptive effect of an inhibitor of endopeptidase 24.15, N-[1-(R-S)-carboxy-3-phenyl-propyl]-Ala-Ala-Phe-p-aminobenzoate (cFP-AAF-pAB) with one of endopeptidase 24.11 N-[1-(RS)-carboxy-3-phenylpropyl]-Phe-p-aminobenzoate (cFP-F-pAB) upon central opioid antinociception induced by MERGL, met-enkephalin and dynorphin A1-8. cFP-AAF-pAB, but not cFP-F-pAB increased MERGL antinociception on the tail-flick and jump tests. In contrast, cFP-F-pAB, but not cFP-AAF-pAB increased met-enkephalin antinociception. Whereas central dynorphin A1-8 failed to induce antinociception itself, co-administration of cFP-AAF-pAB and dynorphin A1-8 increased nociceptive thresholds. This effect was not accompanied by motor dysfunction, but was blocked by systemic pretreatment with naloxone or central pretreatment with naltrexone or nor-binaltorphamine, but not beta-funaltrexamine. These data indicate that endopeptidase 24.15 may be responsible for the degradation of specific opioid peptides (e.g., MERGL, dynorphin), and that this process may prevent the full expression of their antinociceptive properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • A
  • Antinociception
  • Dynorphin
  • Endopeptidase 24.11
  • Endopeptidase 24.15
  • Nor-binaltorphamine


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