1997 Volume 20 Issue 11 Pages 1193-1198
In order to assess quantitatively the pharmacodynamic process of pentazocine (PTZ), time courses of its plasma concentration and of the occupation of specific opioid receptors in the brain were investigated after intravenous (i.v.) administration of PTZ to rats. The plasma concentration of PTZ was determined by HPLC and the pharmacokinetic parameters were analyzed using nonlinear least-squares analysis. Measurement of ex vivo receptor occupation was made by comparing the specific [3H]naloxone (opioid receptor antagonist) binding in vitro to the crude P2-synaptosomal fractions between vehicle-treated rats (control) and PTZ-treated rats. Following the i.v. administration of PTZ, the occupancy of specific opioid receptors decreased rapidly until 10 min, depending on the two pharmacological doses (2.5 and 10 mg/kg). The results strongly suggest the fast binding kinetics of PTZ in terms of its association with and dissociation from specific opioid receptor sites in the brain in addition to its fast rate of disappearance from the brain compartment. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the time profile of receptor occupancy correlated well (r=0.8650) with that of the unbound concentration in plasma until 120 min after the i.v. administration of PTZ to rats.