1. Acetylation of morphine at the 6-position changes its pharmacology. To see if similar changes are seen with codeine, we examined the analgesic actions of codeine and 6-acetylcodeine. 2. Like codeine, 6-acetylcodeine is an effective analgesic systemically, supraspinally and spinally, with a potency approximately a third that of codeine. 3. The sensitivity of 6-acetylcodeine analgesia to the mu-selective antagonists β-FNA and naloxonazine confirmed its classification as a mu opioid. However, it differed from the other mu analgesics in other paradigms. 4. Antisense mapping revealed the sensitivity of 6-acetylcodeine to probes targeting exons 1 and 2 of the mu opioid receptor gene (Oprm), a profile distinct from either codeine or morphine. Although heroin analgesia also is sensitive to antisense targeting exons 1 and 2, heroin analgesia also is sensitive to the antagonist 3-O-methylnaltrexone, while 6-acetylcodeine analgesia is not. 5. Thus, 6-acetylcodeine is an effective mu opioid analgesic with a distinct pharmacological profile.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Mu opioid receptor