The aim of the present study was to determine whether U-50,488H and U-62,066E, κ-opioid receptor agonists cause a neuroprotective action against hypoxia/hypoglycemia-induced reduction in 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) uptake of hippocampal slices from U-50,488H-tolerant rats. Both U-50,488H and U-62,066E exhibited an attenuating effect on hypoxia/hypoglycemia-induced reduction in 2-DG uptake of hippocampal slices. Hypoxia/hypoglycemia-induced deficit of 2-DG uptake was prevented by cotreatment with naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, but potentiated by cotreatment with morphine, a μ-opioid receptor agonist. Chronic administration of U-50,488H resulted in the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect as well as the neuroprotective effect whereas this treatment affected neither basal- nor hypoxia/hypoglycemia-induced decreases in 2-DG uptake. Chronic administration of U-50,488H did not modify naloxone-induced attenuation of 2-DG uptake deficit but slightly potentiated the morphine-induced exacerbation. These findings suggest that the tolerance to κ-opioid receptors does not affect the μ-opioid receptor-mediated neuroprotective or neurotoxic action.
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