Abuse Liability, Anti-Nociceptive, and Discriminative Stimulus Properties of IBNtxA

Ariful Islam, Mohammad Atiqur Rahman, Megan B. Brenner, Allamar Moore, Alyssa Kellmyer, Harley M. Buechler, Frank Digiorgio, Vincent R. Verchio, Laura McCracken, Mousumi Sumi, Robert Hartley, Joseph R. Lizza, Gustavo Moura-Letts, Bradford D. Fischer, Thomas M. Keck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IBNtxA (3-iodobenzoyl naltrexamine) is a novel μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist which is structurally related to the MOR antagonist naltrexone. Recent studies suggest IBNtxA preferentially signals through truncated MOR splice variants, resulting in anti-nociception with reduced side effects, including no conditioned place preference (CPP) when tested at a single dose. IBNtxA represents an intriguing lead compound for preclinical drug development targeting truncated MOR splice variants, but further evaluation of its in vivo pharmacological profile is necessary. The purpose of this study was to independently verify the antinociceptive properties of IBNtxA and to examine more completely the rewarding properties and discriminative stimulus effects of IBNtxA, allowing broader assessment of IBNtxA as a candidate for further medications development. A dose of 3 mg/kg IBNtxA was equipotent to 10 mg/kg morphine in a hot-plate analgesia assay. In drug discrimination testing using mice trained to discriminate between 3 mg/kg IBNtxA and vehicle, the κ-agonist U-50488 fully substituted for IBNtxA. MOR agonist morphine, Î-agonist SNC162, NOP agonist SCH 221510, and MOR/NOP partial agonist buprenorphine each partially substituted for IBNtxA. IBNtxA up to 3 mg/kg did not produce a place preference in CPP. Pretreatment with 3 mg/kg IBNtxA but not 1 mg/kg IBNtxA attenuated acquisition of place preference for 10 mg/kg morphine. A dose of 3 mg/kg IBNtxA attenuated morphine-induced hyperlocomotion but did not alter naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. Overall, IBNtxA has a complicated opioid receptor pharmacology in vivo. These results indicate that IBNtxA produces potent anti-nociception and has low abuse liability, likely driven by substantial κ agonist signaling effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-920
Number of pages14
JournalACS Pharmacology and Translational Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 9 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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