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Multiple Ligands in Opioid Research.

  • January 1, 2008

The observation in 1979 that opioid receptors interact, led to the design of bivalent ligands in an attempt to improve selectivity and affinity towards the different subtypes (i.e. μ, δ and κ). Dimers of monovalent “parent” opioid structures have been evaluated and include: (a) endogenous (e.g. enkephalins) or exogenous (e.g. dermorphin) peptide dimer analogues (b) mixed peptidic-non-peptidic bivalent ligands and (c) dual non-peptidic dimers. Chimeric structures, using an opioid pharmacophore in combination with a non-opioid pharmacophore, have also been prepared. The common aim in all these studies is to improve the pharmacological profile of potential analgesics to minimize common opioid-induced side-effects, such as physical dependence and tolerance. Here we present a brief overview of efforts to develop bivalent opioid ligands for use in pain-related research.

 

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