Actions of the opioid antagonist, nalmefene, and congeners on reperfusion cardiac arrhythmias and regional left coronary blood flow

Robert William Caldwell, Ravi Nagarajan, Antonia Chryssanthis, Ronald R. Tuttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Opioid antagonists have been shown to prevent the occurrence of lethal arrhythmias following coronary reperfusion. In this study, we have examined the effect of a new, long-lasting, potent opioid antagonist, nalmefene, and congeners in the prevention of reperfusion arrhythmias in dogs, Nalmefene given at a dose of I mg/kg i.v. reduced the incidence of reperfusion arrhythmias significantly when compared to the saline control. Neither N-methyl nalmefene, a quaternary analog that does not cross the blood brain barrier, nor (+) nalmefene, an isomer with no anti-opioid actions, provided any protection against reperfusion arrhythmias. Regional myocardial blood flow profiles, during and after coronary occlusion, were not different between the nalmefene- and saline-treated groups. We conclude that nalmefene prevents the occurrence of reperfusion-induced arrhythmias by blocking opioid receptors in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Keywords

  • Arrhythmias
  • Coronary
  • Nalmefene
  • Occlusion
  • Opioid antagonist
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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