Antinociceptive Effects of VV-Hemorphin-5 Peptide Analogues Containing Amino phosphonate Moiety in Mouse Formalin Model of Pain

Author(s): Borislav Assenov, Daniela Pechlivanova*, Elena Dzhambazova, Petia Peneva, Petar Todorov

Journal Name: Protein & Peptide Letters

Volume 28 , Issue 4 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Hemorphins are endogenous hemoglobin-derived peptides that belong to the family of “atypical” opioid peptides with both affinities to opioid receptors and ability to release other endogenous opioid peptides.

Objective: In the present study, peptide analogues of Valorphin (VV-hemorphin-5) containing amino phosphonate moiety synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis (Fmoc-strategy) were investigated for their potential antinociceptive activities and compared to the reference VV-H in formalin- induced model of acute and inflammatory pain in mice.

Methods: The hemorphin analogues were prepared by replacement of the one and/or two N-terminal Val in VV-hemorphin5 (VV-H) with ((dimethoxy phosphoryl) methyl)-L-valine and ((dimethoxy phosphoryl) methyl)-L-leucine to obtain the compounds pVV-H, pL-H, and pLV-H. Aiming to additionally prove the importance of amino acid valine, we introduced the ((dimethoxy phosphoryl) methyl)-L-leucine to the N-side of VV-hemorphin-5 (pLVV-H). The experiments were carried out on adult male ICR mice. All peptides were administered intracerebroventricularly at three doses (50, 25 and 12,5 μg/mouse). We have studied the effects of the peptides on acute (1st phase) and inflammatory (2nd phase) pain reaction using un experimental model with intraplantar formalin injection.

Results: VV-H showed a significant antinociceptive effect both in the acute and inflammatory phases of the test. Although Valorphin hexa-, hepta-, and octapeptide analogs demonstrated a significant antinociceptive effect, they showed substantial differences considering their effective dose and the phase of the test as compared to the Valorphin.

Discussion: Data showed that modified heptapeptides pVV-H and pLV-H exerted the same or better antinociception in acute and inflammatory pain, in comparison to the reference peptide, while pL-H and pLVV-H analogues were less effective.

Conclusion: Our study contributes to the elucidation of the role of Valine and the number of amino acid residues in the structure of hemorphin peptide analogs in their effectiveness in suppressing both acute and inflammatory experimental pain.

Keywords: Hemorphin analogues, opioid peptides, analgesic drugs, formalin test, inflammatory pain, mice.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 13 August, 2020
Page: [442 - 449]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/0929866527666200813200714
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