Antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2, a cannabinoid receptor agonist

Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Aug 8;474(2-3):269-72. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(03)02009-0.


Several lines of evidence indicate that the opioid and cannabinoid systems produce synergistic interactions. The present study examined the opioid receptors involved in the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2 ((R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[4-morpholinylmethyl]-pyrrolo-[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl](1-naphthyl) methanone mesylate), a high-affinity cannabinoid receptor agonist, in mice. WIN 55212-2, at doses of 0.3-3 mg/kg ip, produced a dose-dependent antitussive effect. This antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2 was antagonized by pretreatment with either methysergide (3 mg/kg ip), a 5-HT receptor antagonist, or naloxone (1 mg/kg ip), an opioid receptor antagonist. Furthermore, pretreatment with N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide hydrochloride (SR141716A, 3 mg/kg ip), a cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, also significantly reduced the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2. Blockade of mu-opioid receptors by pretreatment with beta-funaltrexamine (40 mg/kg sc) significantly reduced the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2. However, pretreatment with nor-binaltorphimine (20 mg/kg sc), a kappa-opioid receptor antagonist, did not affect the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2. Pretreatment with naloxonazine (35 mg/kg sc), a mu(1)-opioid receptor antagonist, also did not affect the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2. These results indicate that the antitussive effect of WIN 55212-2 is mediated by the activation of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors and mu(2) (naloxonazine-insensitive)-opioid receptors, but not mu(1) (naloxonazine-sensitive)- or kappa-opioid receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitussive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antitussive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzoxazines
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Cough / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use*
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology
  • Naphthalenes / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism


  • Antitussive Agents
  • Benzoxazines
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Cannabinoids
  • Morpholines
  • Naphthalenes
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • (3R)-((2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-((4-morpholinyl)methyl)pyrrolo-(1,2,3-de)-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl))methanone