Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the role of peripheral μ, δ1, δ2, and nociceptin opioid receptors agonists in the regulation of cardiac tolerance to the arrhythmogenic effect of ischemia/reperfusion in rats. Methods Anesthetized open-chest male Wistar rats were subjected to either 45 minutes of left coronary artery occlusion (phase 1a 10 minutes and phase 2b 35 minutes) and 2 hours of reperfusion in Experiment 1 or 10 minutes of ischemia and 10 minutes of reperfusion in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, saline or vehicle controls and the mu-specific opioids dermorphin-H (Derm-H) and ([d-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly-ol5] enkephalin (DAMAGO); the delta-1-specific opioid d-Pen2,5enkephalin (DPDPE); nociceptin; and the delta-2-specific opioids deltorphin-II (Delt-II), Delt-Dvariant (Delt-Dvar), and deltorphin-E (Delt-E) were infused 15 minutes prior to ischemia. In Experiment 2, DPDPE, Delt-D, Delt-Dvar, and Delt-E were infused at 15 minutes prior to ischemia. The universal opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone, the peripherally acting antagonist naloxone methiodide, the selective δ1 antagonist 7-benzylidene naltrexone maleate, and the specific δ2 antagonist naltriben mesylate were infused 25 minutes prior to ischemia. Results In Experiment 1, pretreatment with the μ opioids Derm-H and DAMGO, DPDPE, and nociceptin at all doses tested did not reduce the incidence of ischemia-induced arrhythmias compared to controls during 45 minutes of ischemia. The δ2 opioids Delt-II (0.12 mg/kg), Delt-Dvar (0.3 mg/kg), and Delt-E (0.18 mg/kg) all demonstrated significant antiarrhythmic effects at the 150 nmol/kg dose compared to saline or vehicle controls. Nine of 19 animals treated with Delt-II were tolerant without ventricular arrhythmias to the arrhythmogenic effect of ischemia during the first 10 minutes of ischemia (phase 1a) and 11 of 19 were without ventricular arrhythmias during the following 35 minutes of ischemia (phase 1b). Delt-II also decreased the incidence of premature ventricular contractions and ventricular tachycardia by almost half during phase 1a. Delt-II did not affect the incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF). Pretreatment with Delt-Dvar and Delt-E completely blocked the incidence of VF in phase 1b. Delt-E also decreased premature ventricular contractions by 50%, and the incidence of ventricular tachycardia decreased over twofold in phase 1b of ischemia. There was no enhanced tolerance by any of the delta-2 opioids to the arrhythmogenic effect of reperfusion after long-term ischemia. In Experiment 2, after 10 minutes of ischemia and 10 minutes of reperfusion, Delt-II (0.12 mg/kg) reduced the incidence of premature ventricular contractions and ventricular tachycardia compared to controls, and completely blocked the incidence of VF following 10 minutes of reperfusion. Delt-Dvar and Delt-E were without effect, as was DPDPE following 10 minutes of reperfusion. The antiarrhythmic effect of Delt-II during 10 minutes of ischemia and 10 minutes of reperfusion was completely blocked by the peripherally acting opioid receptor inhibitor naloxone methiodide and the selective delta-2 opioid receptor inhibitor naltriben mesylate, but not by the selective delta-1 inhibitor 7-benzylidene naltrexone maleate. The antagonists alone had no effect on arrhythmogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine