Opioid and neurokinin activities of substance P fragments and their analogs

Sizheng Z. Lei, Andrzej W. Lipkowski, George L. Wilcox

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24 Scopus citations


Newly developed substance P (SP) analogs with altered N-terminal sequences which equalize the lipophilicity of the N-terminal and C-terminal elements and of their fusion product were examined using i.t. injection in mice. I.t. injection of either the full length analog or the C-terminal hexapeptide (CP) produced biting and scratching behavior similar to that elicited by SP. SPF was approximately 5-fold and CP 14-fold less potent than native SP. The N-terminal peptide (NP) was inactive by itself but inhibited CP-elicited behavior. Naloxone antagonized this action of NP and shifted the SPF dose-response curve 4-fold to the left. However, naloxone had no effect on the action of CP or on the action of any of the native neurokinins. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that N- and C-terminal analogs of SP can have opioid and SP-like actions, respectively, in the CNS of rodents. Furthermore, analogs of SP which include at least the terminal tetrapeptide retain neurokinin activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 7 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by USPHS Grants DA-01933 and DA-04274.


  • Neurokinin
  • Nociception
  • Opioids (intrathecal)
  • Spinal cord
  • Substance P


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