Our previous study has demonstrated that porcine diazepam-binding inhibitor (pDBI) and its active fragments, pDBI-16 and pDBI-19, have inhibition effect on morphine analgesia in mice. The present study aimed to investigate the underlying mechanism and potential application of this anti-opioid effect.
Effect of DBI on morphine analgesia was examined by the tail electric stimulation vocalization test. Complementary peptides and antiserum were used to further confirm the effect of DBI in morphine tolerance and dependence. Pharmacological and microinjection methods were used to investigate the underlying mechanism.
Firstly, pDBI administered either intracerebroventricularly or intravenously dose-dependently inhibited morphine analgesia, while blocking DBI-16 or DBI-19 by the complementary peptides for DBI-16 (CP-DBI-16) or DBI-19 (CP-DBI-19) potentiated it in mice. Secondly, explicit immunoexpression of DBI in the lateral habenular (LHb) was observed in naive rats, and intra-LHb injection of pDBI dose-dependently abolished analgesic effect produced by intra-periaqueductal gray (PAG) injection of morphine in rats. Thirdly, pretreatment with N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist MK-801 or nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor L-NAME abolished the inhibition effect of pDBI, pDBI-16 or pDBI-19 on morphine analgesia in mice. Finally, antiserum against DBI dose-dependently reversed analgesic tolerance induced by increasing doses of morphine twice daily for 13 days in mice, while CP-DBI-16 or CP-DBI-19 significantly inhibited naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal jumping in mice.
Taken together, our results demonstrated that NMDAR/NO signaling and LHb-PAG pathway are crucially involved in the anti-opioid effect of DBI, which could provide a potential biological target for opioid tolerance and dependence.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.