β-Funaltrexamine (β-FNA) bound to mouse brain membranes in a reversible and an irreversible (not removed by washing of the membrane) manner, and a portion of each type of binding was opioid-specific. Addition of 100 mM NaCl to the incubating medium enhanced the binding of β-FNA to membranes. Using membranes preincubated with β-FNA (1 μM) and then washed three times, the maximum number of binding sites available to [3H]morphine was markedly diminished whereas the affinity of morphine for binding sites was not significantly altered. The binding of [3H]naltrexone was also reduced markedly by β-FNA pretreatment. In similarly pretreated membranes, the binding of [3H]methionine enkephalin [3H][D-Ala2,D-Leu5]enkephalin (DADLE) or [3H]ethylketazocine was reduced to a smaller extent. Using brain membranes from mice pretreated with a single subcutaneous injection of β-FNA (100 mg/kg) 48 h prior to use, the binding of [3H]methionine enkephalin was unaffected whereas the number of binding sites available to [3H]morphine was significantly reduced. The inhibition by various ligands of the reversible binding of [3H]β-FNA resembled the relative ability of the same ligands to inhibit the binding of [3H]ethylketazocine. It was concluded that the irreversible portion of the binding of β-FNA demonstrates a selectivity for μ over δ binding sites, and that the reversible portion of the binding of β-FNA demonstrates a selectivity for κ binding sites over μ or δ binding sites. As such, the binding characteristics of β-FNA are consistent with its profile in vivo and in isolated tiussue studies in vitro.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
* This investigation was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (U.S. Public Health Service). ** To whom all correspondence should be addressed: Depart-ment of Pharmacology, 3-260 MiUard Hall, University of Minnesota, 435 Delaware Street S.E., Minneapolis, Min-nesota 55455, U.S.A. a Present addresses: Department of Pharmacology, Sterling-Winthrop Research Institute, Rensselaer, New York. b School of Pharmacy, University of Pacific, Stockton, CA.