Free
Perioperative Medicine  |   January 2012
Selective 5-HT1A-R-agonist Repinotan Prevents Remifentanil-induced Ventilatory Depression and Prolongs Antinociception
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ulf Guenther, M.D.
    *
  • Nils U. Theuerkauf, M.D.
    *
  • Daniel Huse, M.D.
  • Michael F. Boettcher, M.D.
  • Georg Wensing, M.D., Ph.D.
    §
  • Christian Putensen, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Andreas Hoeft, M.D., Ph.D.
    #
  • *Attending Anesthesiologist, Resident in Anesthesiology, Professor in Critical Care, #Professor in Anesthesiology, Clinic of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Bonn University Hospital, Bonn, Germany. Clinical Pharmacologist, §Professor in Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacological Research, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Wuppertal, Germany.
Article Information
Perioperative Medicine / Pain Medicine / Pharmacology / Respiratory System
Perioperative Medicine   |   January 2012
Selective 5-HT1A-R-agonist Repinotan Prevents Remifentanil-induced Ventilatory Depression and Prolongs Antinociception
Anesthesiology 1 2012, Vol.116, 56-64. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31823d08fa
Anesthesiology 1 2012, Vol.116, 56-64. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31823d08fa
What We Already Know about This Topic
  • Opioid-induced respiratory depression is a dose-limiting side effect in the safe clinical use of opioids

  • The serotonergic receptor type 1A agonist repinotan antagonizes morphine-induced respiratory depression but has a pronociceptive effect at low doses

What This Article Tells Us That Is New
  • Repinotan prevented respiratory depression after bolus injection of remifentanil and prolonged, rather than antagonized, antinociception in spontaneously breathing anesthetized rats

  • Serotonergic receptor type 1A agonists warrant additional study as opioid adjuncts for their ventilatory effects

VENTILATORY depression is a major devastating adverse event of opioid-based pain therapy and brief opioid-treated painful procedures in the clinic.1,2 The selective, full 5-HT1A-R-agonist repinotan3,4 has been shown to counteract morphine-induced ventilatory depression in spontaneously breathing rats.5 Unlike other 5-HT1A-R agonists, repinotan is approved for intravenous use in humans and has undergone a series of clinical phase II trials into neuroprotection after traumatic brain injury and stroke.6  9 Nociception, assessed with a tail-flick reflex, was shown to be enhanced with very small doses (0.2 μg/kg), indicating pronociception.5 A moderate dose of repinotan (20 μg/kg), sufficient to stimulate spontaneous breathing, produced a nonsignificant trend toward antinociception; higher doses (200 μg/kg) reached statistical significance. It was not investigated whether moderate repinotan doses have pronociceptive effects with plasma concentrations decreasing over time.
The ultrashort-acting opioid remifentanil is used with bolus injections in a growing number of brief, painful procedures, such as dilatation and sharp curettage, dentistry, tonsillectomy, adenectomy, bronchoscopy, and gastroscopy,10,11 with antinociception quickly wearing off after the procedure. Interestingly, the selective 5-HT1A-R-agonist F13640 was shown to reduce postoperative analgesic requirements after remifentanil in rats.12 The question arises of whether repinotan at moderate doses sufficient to stimulate spontaneous breathing also contributes to opioid analgesia. In addition, it was not investigated if repinotan prevents ventilatory depression if given before  opioid administration.
This study was carried out (1) to establish a dose–response curve of repinotan on the counteraction of remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression, (2) to determine the effects of a moderate repinotan dose (10 μg/kg) on nociception after discontinuation of a remifentanil infusion, and (3) to verify if repinotan prevents ventilatory depression if given before remifentanil bolus infections in spontaneously breathing, anesthetized rats.
Materials and Methods
Animals
This study was performed with approval from the local Institutional Animal Review Board for animal research (Cologne, Germany) and in accordance with the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.”1The experimental setup has been described in detail elsewhere.5 In brief, 50 male Sprague-Dawley rats (median weight, 284 g; range, 208–370 g; Charles River GmbH, Sulzfeld, Germany) were deeply anesthetized with a single intraperitoneal injection of sodium-pentobarbitone (60 mg/kg) and placed supine on a heating pad to maintain rectal temperature constantly at 37°± 0.5°C. The right inguinal artery and vein were cannulated via  a small surgical incision for intravenous application of study drugs and continuous monitoring of heart rate (HR) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP). A tracheostomy was performed, and anesthesia was maintained with sevoflurane as soon as animals produced signs of subsiding barbiturate effect by spontaneous movements after 30–40 min of injection. Sevoflurane was started with 1.5–2.5 volume percent and stepwise increased to a concentration permitting stable spontaneous breathing and detectable tail-flick reflex.
Measurements
Spontaneous Breathing.
Animals were breathing spontaneously via  a tracheotomy tube (ID, 1.2 mm). The expired air was led through the flow head (MLT1 l; ADInstruments GmbH, Spechbach, Germany) of a spirometer (ML141) connected to an analog-to-digital interface (PowerLab 4/25®; all devices: ADInstruments GmbH) to record respiratory rate and tidal volume (VT) by integration of ventilatory airflow over time. Minute ventilation (MV) was calculated as MV [ml/min] = respiratory rate [1/min]× VT[ml].
Nociception.
Nociception was assessed with a tail-flick reflex. Before the first tail-flick reflex was taken, at least 30 min was allowed for acclimation to sevoflurane, except for the group without continuous remifentanil infusion, which had an additional 60 min (see fig. 1). The latency of the tail-flick reflex response (tail-flick reflex latency [TFL]), evoked by a 100-W light beam source mounted 15 mm over the base of the tail, was recorded with a strain gauge attached to the tail. The TFL was determined as the distance between the spike artifact evoked by the power-on of the heating source and the tail-flick response detected by the strain gauge. The effect of an antinociceptive drug is the extension of TFL: a shortened TFL indicates enhanced nociceptive responsiveness. According to Nadeson and Goodchild, the TFL taken after the drug application is TFLtreatment, and the TFL taken before the drug application is TFLpretreatment.13 The latency to switch off the heat to avoid damage to the tail skin was set at 15 s in this study (TFLoffset). Thus, the maximum possible effect (MPE) of an antinociceptive drug was the extension of the TFLtreatmentto a maximum of 15 s. Results of the TFL are given as percent of MPE (%MPE) and calculated by the formula %MPE = 100 ×[TFLtreatment− TFLpretreatment]×[TFLoffset− TFLpretreatment]−1.13 Enhanced nociceptive responsiveness results in negative %MPE values; antinociception is indicated by positive %MPE values. A complete suppression of the tail-flick reflex, which is no response within 15 s after the onset of heat, is by definition a 100%MPE.
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5  ). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2  ) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n  -propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1  ). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4  ). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3  ) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4  ) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5  ). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B  ).
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5 
	). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2 
	) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n 
	-propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1 
	). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4 
	). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3 
	) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4 
	) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5 
	). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B 
	).
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5  ). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2  ) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n  -propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1  ). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4  ). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3  ) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4  ) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5  ). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B  ).
×
A blood pressure transducer, temperature probe, and strain-gauge transducer were connected to the same analog-to-digital interface as the spirometer.
Drug Application Protocols
A schematic overview of the drug application protocol is given in figure 1.
Dose–response curves on MV of increasing doses of either repinotan (R-(-)-2-[4-[(chroman-2-ylmethyl)-amino]-butyl]-1,1-dioxo-benzo[d]isothiazolone-hydro-chloride; Bayer Healthcare AG, Wuppertal, Germany), or the standard 5-HT1A-R-agonist 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-N  -propylamino)-tetralin; Tocris, Bristol, United Kingdom), or NaCl 0.9% (Braun, Melsungen, Germany) were established during continuous remifentanil infusion (GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Germany) to delineate moderate doses.
After the identification of 10 μg/kg repinotan as a moderate dose, the effects of such a single dose on TFL after discontinuation of an 80-min infusion of remifentanil, repinotan alone, and remifentanil alone were assessed to 60 min after discontinuation of the continuous remifentanil infusion.
The effects of moderate doses of repinotan (10 and 20 μg/kg) on spontaneous breathing given before  bolus injections of remifentanil were measured.
Repinotan and Continuous Remifentanil Infusion.
The remifentanil infusion rate was set to achieve a 50% reduction in respiratory frequency. Thereafter, repinotan was injected intravenously every 15 min, with doses ranging from 0.1 μg/kg to 100 μg/kg (n = 6, fig. 1, A1). For comparison, the standard 5-HT1A-R-agonist 8-OH-DPAT was given at doses of 0.1 to 10 μg/kg (n = 6, fig. 1, A2). NaCl 0.9% injections in another series (n = 6, fig. 1, A3) served as controls. TFL were recorded before the start of remifentanil infusion (and taken as pretreatment level), 5 min thereafter, and at the end of the remifentanil infusion. We did not perform TFL measurements between 5-HT1A-R-agonist administrations because the tail-flick reflex was always abolished with the onset of remifentanil and remained absent throughout preliminary experiments as long as remifentanil was infused continuously. After completion of the remifentanil and NaCl 0.9% series, a single bolus of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6, fig. 1, A4) was given, and TFLs were determined at 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min thereafter. This was done to determine the time profile of the nociceptive effects of repinotan and remifentanil after 80 min of continuous remifentanil infusion. In an additional series, repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without previous remifentanil infusion (n = 7, fig. 1, A5). All experiments were performed by one of the coauthors (D.H.) and a technical assistant. For technical reasons, they were not blinded to treatment groups. Both were unaware of the drug effects and did not participate in the data analysis.
The number of experiments involving increasing doses of repinotan (n = 6) was based on our previous experience, in which a 20-μg/kg dose of repinotan counteracted a morphine-induced ventilatory depression (−72 ± 28%; mean ± SE) to 18 ± 58% of the pretreatment level. With an α set at 0.05, the power was calculated as 0.92 with n = 6 experiments in the double-sided power analysis.
Repinotan and Remifentanil Bolus Injections.
Repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6; or 20 μg/kg, n = 5, fig. 1B), or NaCl (0.9%) were administered intravenously. Twenty minutes later, remifentanil was injected intravenously as a bolus of 2.5 μg/kg. This dose was found to be the highest possible to avoid hypoxia in preliminary experiments. Because of the brief measurement intervals upon administration of the remifentanil boluses no TFL were taken in this series of experiments.
Statistical Analysis
Pretreatment MV, TFL, MAP, HR, and sevoflurane and remifentanil dosing of matched groups were compared with the Mann–Whitney U test. MV during experiments were calculated as change in percent of pretreatment level (%change) according to the formula: %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. This also applies to MAP and HR. TFL were calculated as change in percent of the maximum possible effect (%MPE), as shown in Materials and Methods (see Nociception). MV levels upon repinotan administration were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's repeated measures analysis of variance and Dunn's multiple comparison test. The same methods were used to compare pretreatment and posttreatment TFL, MAP, and HR. All tests were two-tailed, and P  < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. All data were processed with the Chart 4.0 and Scope 4.0 software package (ADInstruments GmbH). Statistical analyses were performed using Prism4® software package for Macintosh (GraphPad Software Inc., San Diego, CA) and IBM® SPSS® Statistics, Version 19 (IBM Deutschland GmbH, Ehningen, Germany). The power analysis was done with the Simple Interactive Statistical Analysis (SISA) online software package (Quantitative Skills, Hilversum, The Netherlands).2
Results
Continuous Remifentanil Infusion
Spontaneous Breathing.
The median pretreatment MV in the repinotan group was 173 [interquartile range, 149–200] ml/min, 162 [121–171] ml/min in the 8-OH-DPAT group, and 152 [105–201] ml/min in the NaCl (0.9%) group. Sevoflurane concentrations were 3.0 [2.9–3.0] Vol% in the repinotan group, 3.0 [3.0–3.1] Vol% in the 8-OH-DPAT group, and 3.0 [3.0–3.0] Vol% in the NaCl (0.9%) group. Except for a difference in pretreatment MV between the 8-OH-DPAT and the NaCl (0.9%) group (P  = 0.008), groups did not differ statistically otherwise. Remifentanil depressed MV to −56 [−67 to 52]% in the repinotan group (P  = 0.031). Repinotan counteracted this ventilatory depression in a dose-dependent manner, as indicated by the MV returning almost to pretreatment level (MV, −8 [−26 to 29]%) with the moderate dose (10 μg/kg) and to −4 [−8 to 35]% with the high dose (100 μg/kg). MV remained depressed during controls with NaCl (0.9%) (fig. 2). Given a stable ventilatory depression, the mean ED50for this repinotan effect was 3.1 [95% CI, 1.0–9.9]μg/kg. We took the threefold ED50as a moderate dose of repinotan for additional experiments on nociception. 8-OH-DPAT (10 μg/kg) also counteracted remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression (32 [−6 to 36]%, P  = 0.156, compared with remifentanil concentration). 8-OH-DPAT doses higher than 10 μg/kg were not tolerated hemodynamically in previous investigations and thus were not tested.
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow  ; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P  < 0.05; **P  < 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow 
	; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P 
	< 0.05; **P 
	< 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow  ; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P  < 0.05; **P  < 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
×
Nociception.
The median pretreatment TFL was 7.5 [6.6–9.1] s; the treatment groups did not differ statistically. During remifentanil infusion, the TFL was always 100%MPE 5 min after onset and throughout remifentanil infusion, meaning that the tail-flick reflex remained completely suppressed (fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars  ), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars  ), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars  ) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars  ). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars  ). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars  ) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P  < 0.01, *P  < 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars 
	), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars 
	), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars 
	) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars 
	). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars 
	). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars 
	) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P 
	< 0.01, *P 
	< 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars  ), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars  ), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars  ) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars  ). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars  ). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars  ) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P  < 0.01, *P  < 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
×
A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg), injected at the end of continuous remifentanil infusion, prevented the return of the TFL to baseline for at least 30 min (fig. 3). This is indicated by the return of the TLF to baseline 45 min after cessation of remifentanil administration, compared with 5 min in the NaCl (0.9%) group. For comparison, repinotan (10 μg/kg), administered without a preceding remifentanil infusion, did not affect TFL.
Remifentanil Bolus Injection
The median pretreatment MV in the repinotan 10 μg/kg group was 167 [120–207] ml/min, 161 [144–190] ml/min in the repinotan 20 μg/kg group, and 149 [120–190] ml/min in the NaCl 0.9% group. Sevoflurane concentrations were 3.0 Vol% in all groups. There were no statistical significant differences between groups. Figure 4shows a representative experiment on the prevention of remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression. Figure 5shows that a remifentanil bolus (2.5 μg/kg) without preceding repinotan administration depressed spontaneous breathing to −64 [−81 to 56]% (P  = 0.031, compared with the pretreatment level). This ventilatory depression was blunted if repinotan (10 μg/kg; MV, −47 [−92 to 19]%) and repinotan (20 μg/kg; MV, −25 [−53 to 13]%) was given before because both MV levels were not statistically different from pretreatment levels (both groups, P  = 0.316).
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A  ). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A  ). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B  ).
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A 
	). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A 
	). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B 
	).
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A  ). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A  ). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B  ).
×
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P  = 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P  < 0.05.
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P 
	= 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P 
	< 0.05.
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P  = 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P  < 0.05.
×
Cardiovascular Effects
Remifentanil induced a depression of both MAP and HR, both if administered continuously (table 1) and also as a bolus injection (table 2). Unlike ventilatory effects, MAP reduction was not alleviated by repinotan, if given subsequent to the opioid (table 1) or if given before (table 2). Note that moderate and high doses of repinotan recovered HR because HR changes were not significantly different from the pretreatment level with the 10 and 100 μg/kg dose. Repinotan, given alone, did not show statistically significant effects on MAP and HR (table 2). There were no deleterious cardiovascular complications.
Table 1. Effects of Repinotan and 8-OH-DPAT during Continuous Remifentanil on MAP and HR
Image not available
Table 1. Effects of Repinotan and 8-OH-DPAT during Continuous Remifentanil on MAP and HR
×
Table 2. Effects of Remifentanil Bolus Injections after Repinotan Administration on MAP and HR
Image not available
Table 2. Effects of Remifentanil Bolus Injections after Repinotan Administration on MAP and HR
×
Discussion
This study found that a moderate dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg), given alone, had no intrinsic antinociceptive effect, but it prolonged opioid-induced antinociception after discontinuation of remifentanil to at least 30 min. Repinotan (10 and 20 μg/kg) significantly blunted the ventilatory depression caused by bolus injections of remifentanil. It was also confirmed that the sustained ventilatory depression caused by continuous infusion of remifentanil was antagonized by moderate and higher doses of repinotan (10 and 100 μg/kg). Repinotan had a mild, yet statistically nonsignificant, tendency to induce tachycardia and hypotension and did not produce serious cardiovascular complications even with the highest dose.
The dose–response curve for repinotan counteracting the remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression aimed at verifying whether stimulatory effects in remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression are comparable with those obtained previously with morphine5 and to identify a moderate dose, sufficient to stimulate spontaneous breathing. An ED50of 3.1 μg/kg was found in this work, which is in the same range previously found in morphine-induced ventilatory depression.5 In that work, we reported an ED50of 1.9 ± 0.5 μg/kg, with the maximum effective repinotan dose being 20 μg/kg. Note that the ED50given here should be compared with caution because the required condition, a stable ventilatory depression, is difficult to control for, and MV levels upon opioid administration were different (MV remifentanil, −61%vs.  morphine −72%).
A moderate dose of 10 μg/kg repinotan was confirmed to counteract ventilatory depression sufficiently and not to stimulate spontaneous breathing if given alone. Spontaneous breathing is controlled by the brainstem respiratory network, among which different types of neuron groups are interconnected via  γ-aminobutyric acid and glycinergic receptors, and with excitatory input from the ascending reticular activating system being mainly glutamatergic.14 More recent work confirmed that 5-HT1A-R agonists target glycinergic inhibitory synapses within the respiratory network.15 The authors proposed a model of network reorganization evoked by 5-HT1A-R stimulation, which eventually leads to a shortening of inspiratory burst suppression and thus increased respiratory frequency.15 This effect is far more pronounced when spontaneous rhythm pattern is disturbed per se  .16 Opioids do not equally depress respiratory neurons; their network effect is among others an inhibition of the off switch of the inspiratory phase.16 5-HT1A-R-agonist 8-OH-DPAT, in turn, was shown to counteract such breathing disturbances via  expiratory neurons that activate the inspiratory off switch.17 This results in a stabilized breathing pattern and might explain the fact that 5-HT1A-R-agonist repinotan (10 μg/kg) alone only mildly stimulated spontaneous breathing (figs. 4and 5) but strongly activated spontaneous breathing in opioid-induced ventilatory depression.
Repinotan at a moderate, single dose (10 μg/kg) did not cause antinociception per se  . The major goal of this study was to establish effects on nociception by moderate repinotan dose at the end of opioid administration because we previously reported a pronociceptive effect by very small doses of 5-HT1A-R agonists.2,5 Decreasing plasma concentrations could have resulted in a net pronociceptive effect, which was not observed in this study. The dual effect of 5-HT1A-R-agonists (i.e  ., the combination of low-dose enhancement of nociception followed by high-dose inhibition of nociception) remains in part unknown. 5-HT1A-R-agonists are located in the brain and spinal cord presynaptically and postsynaptically, making it difficult to predict their net effect on nociception. For instance, applied directly to spinal 5-HT1A-R, 8-OH-DPAT decreased vocalization threshold in the paw pressure test in a dose dependent manner but acted as an antinociceptive in the formalin-test.18 It has been demonstrated in decerebrated rabbits with 5-HT-R-antagonists, that serotonin tonically inhibits spinal reflex pathways by action at spinal 5-HT1A-R.19 The authors also reported that intrathecal administration of 5-HT1A-R-antagonist (S)WAY100135 was much more effective in enhancing spinal withdrawal reflex than was intravenous administration of the same, suggesting that antinociceptive effects are mediated mostly via  central 5-HT1A-R. According to the manufacturer's information, repinotan penetrates the blood–brain barrier after rapid intravenous administration to rats, and the distribution equilibrium between plasma and brain is reached almost immediately after the start of a constant-rate infusion. Given the concentration ratio of brain to plasma of approximately 1.2–2:1 in rats, pronociceptive effects mediated by spinal 5-HT1A-R presumably were overpowered by actions via  central 5-HT1A-R, as the latter was suggested to be more effective.19 
Although there was no detectable antinociceptive effect of repinotan (10 μg/kg), repinotan subsequent to continuous remifentanil infusion delayed the return of the TFL to baseline. This contributes to previous findings, where the highly selective 5-HT1A-R-agonist F13640 alleviated opioid-induced hyperalgesia and neuropathic pain in rats.20,21 Intrathecal and intravenous 5-HT1A-R blockade was shown to significantly reduce fentanyl-induced suppression of spinal reflexes.22 In turn, activation of central 5-HT1A-R agonists might contribute to bulbospinal opioidergic suppression of spinal reflexes, but this remains to be determined.
It was also verified that repinotan at moderate doses (10 and 20 μg/kg) before remifentanil bolus injection prevented a ventilatory depression. Repinotan doses higher than 20 μg/kg were not investigated to minimize baseline ventilatory stimulation before the remifentanil bolus. This enabled us to demonstrate that the prevention of remifentanil-induced depression is a specific effect of repinotan within the neuronal respiratory network rather than a simple elevation of baseline MV.
Repinotan has been investigated intravenously for neuroprotection in humans.7 Initial favorable neurologic outcomes in patients with stroke or traumatic brain injury were later not confirmed by multicenter studies.8,9 Recently, the only commercially available 5-HT1A-R agonist for use in humans, buspirone, failed to counteract opioid-induced ventilatory depression in humans23 and did not display antinociceptive effects in healthy volunteers.24 Of note, buspirone is only a partial 5-HT1A-R agonist and available only for oral intake. Our findings suggest that intravenous 5-HT1A-R agonists should be studied for nociceptive and ventilatory effects.
The cardiovascular effects upon repinotan administration alone were nonsignificant statistically. In combination with remifentanil, which alone depressed MAP and HR, repinotan did not further aggravate hypotension, except for the highest dose (100 μg/kg). This effect should be interpreted with caution because the fourth NaCl (0.9%) injection also was associated with an MAP reduction (table 1). In addition, 8-OH-DPAT was associated with hypotension with moderate doses (1 and 10 μg/kg). Others saw that 5-HT1A-R-agonist 8-OH-DPAT even prevented arterial hypotension induced by remifentanil in conscious, nonanesthetized rats.16 It has also been reported that the 5-HT1A-R-agonist F13640 reduced the concentrations of volatile anesthetics.12 In this study, the concentration of the anesthetic had to be maintained constant to not alter ventilatory depression and effects on nociception. This might have contributed to arterial hypotension, being the consequence of rising PCO2and peripheral vasodilatation caused by alveolar hypoventilation, which may have been prevented by repinotan and 8-OH-DPAT in this study.
Some limitations of this study warrant comment. First, an acute, specific tolerance to remifentanil has been suggested by several clinical investigators,25  29 whereas others have not found such effect.30  35 In our study, the remifentanil concentrations and the anesthetic sevoflurane remained constant once they were leveled to achieve a sustained respiratory depression. Remifentanil dosage was targeted to produce a sustaining ventilatory depression, which led to a complete suppression of the tail-flick reflex in every experiment. Thus, a gradual attenuation of remifentanil-induced antinociception by development of an acute opioid tolerance was hardly detectable by the methods used here.
Second, we did not aim at studying doses of repinotan smaller than the one used here because the scope of this study was the effects of the smallest possible dose to stimulate spontaneous breathing. Again, because 5-HT1A-R is variously located within the trajectories of nociceptive processing,22,36 they were reported to enhance or suppress polysynaptic nociceptive reflexes, depending on the experimental setup.37,38 Thus, with nociceptive models other than the one used here, there may be activation by small doses of 5-HT1A-R agonists, which may not be overpowered by opioids. This should be by further studied.
Third, we investigated spontaneously breathing rats anesthetized with pentobarbital and sevoflurane. These substances have marked effects on γ-aminobutyric acid receptors, which are also involved in the respiratory network. It is conceivable that the effects of 5-HT1A-R-agonists may be different in nonanesthetized mammals. However, we have reported on the effects of the 5-HT1A-R-agonist 8-OH-DPAT in a perfused, nonanesthetized, brainstem spinal cord preparation2 and concluded that the stimulatory effect of 5-HT1A-R-agonists is independent from interaction with γ-aminobutyric acid receptors.
Fourth, the experimental setup did not aim at investigating specific serotonergic side effects, such as the serotonergic syndrome. It is characterized by symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting, flush, tachycardia, and agitation in humans8 and may even aggravate in coadministration with morphine.23 These conditions have to be reconsidered when planning additional clinical studies involving 5-HT1A-R agonists and may limit the generalizability of the reported effects. However, in the current study, hypertension or tachycardia were not seen.
Conclusions
The 5-HT1A-R-agonist repinotan prevented remifentanil-induced ventilatory depression in spontaneously breathing, anesthetized rats. Although a single dose of repinotan alone (10 μg/kg) did not show intrinsic antinociception, it prolonged the opioid-induced antinociception after discontinuation of remifentanil infusion. 5-HT1A-R-agonists should be the subject to additional research regarding their ventilatory and antinociceptive effects.
The authors thank Tanja Schloesser, Scientific Technician, for excellent technical assistance during the experiments, and Sven Zenker, M.D., Resident in Anesthesiology, for thorough statistical advice. Both are affiliated with the Clinic of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Bonn University Hospital, Bonn, Germany.
References
Couzin J: Medicine: A sigh of relief for painkillers. Science 2003; 301:150
Guenther U, Manzke T, Wrigge H, Dutschmann M, Zinserling J, Putensen C, Hoeft A: The counteraction of opioid-induced ventilatory depression by the serotonin 1A-agonist 8-OH-DPAT does not antagonize antinociception in rats in situ  and in vivo  . Anesth Analg 2009; 108:1169–76
De Vry J, Schohe-Loop R, Heine HG, Greuel JM, Mauler F, Schmidt B, Sommermeyer H, Glaser T: Characterization of the aminomethylchroman derivative BAY x 3702 as a highly potent 5-hydroxytryptamine1A receptor agonist. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1998; 284:1082–94
Schwarz T, Beckermann B, Buehner K, Mauler F, Schuhmacher J, Seidel D, Steinke W, Weinz C, Zimmerd D: Pharmacokinetics of repinotan in healthy and brain injured animals. Biopharm Drug Dispos 2005; 26:259–68
Guenther U, Wrigge H, Theuerkauf N, Boettcher MF, Wensing G, Zinserling J, Putensen C, Hoeft A: Repinotan, a selective 5-HT1A-R-agonist, antagonizes morphine-induced ventilatory depression in anesthetized rats. Anesth Analg 2010; 111:901–7
Harkany T, Mulder J, Horvath KM, Keijser J, van der Meeberg EK, Nyakas C, Luiten PG: Oral post-lesion administration of 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist repinotan hydrochloride (BAY x 3702) attenuates NMDA-induced delayed neuronal death in rat magnocellular nucleus basalis. Neuroscience 2001; 108:629–42
Ohman J, Braakman R, Legout V, Traumatic Brain Injury Study Group: Repinotan (BAY × 3702): A 5HT1A agonist in traumatically brain injured patients. J Neurotrauma 2001; 18:1313–21
Teal P, Silver FL, Simard D: The BRAINS study: Safety, tolerability, and dose-finding of repinotan in acute stroke. Can J Neurol Sci 2005; 32:61–7
Teal P, Davis S, Hacke W, Kaste M, Lyden PD, Modified Randomized Exposure Controlled Trial Study Investigators, Fierus M, Bayer HealthCare AG: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic effects of a targeted exposure of intravenous repinotan in patients with acute ischemic stroke: Modified Randomized Exposure Controlled Trial (mRECT). Stroke 2009; 40:3518–25
Richardson SP, Egan TD: The safety of remifentanil by bolus injection. Expert Opin Drug Saf 2005; 4:643–51
Egan TD, Kern SE, Muir KT, White J: Remifentanil by bolus injection: A safety, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and age effect investigation in human volunteers. Br J Anaesth 2004; 92:335–43
Kiss I, Degryse AD, Bardin L, Gomez de Segura IA, Colpaert FC: The novel analgesic, F 13640, produces intra- and postoperative analgesia in a rat model of surgical pain. Eur J Pharmacol 2005; 523:29–39
Nadeson R, Goodchild CS: Antinociceptive role of 5-HT1A receptors in rat spinal cord. Br J Anaesth 2002; 88:679–84
Richter DW, Ballantyne D, Remmers JE: The differential organization of medullary post-inspiratory activities. Pflugers Arch 1987; 410:420–7
Manzke T, Dutschmann M, Schlaf G, Mörschel M, Koch UR, Ponimaskin E, Bidon O, Lalley PM, Richter DW: Serotonin targets inhibitory synapses to induce modulation of network functions. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2009; 364:2589–602
Dutschmann M, Waki H, Manzke T, Simms AE, Pickering AE, Richter DW, Paton JF: The potency of different serotonergic agonists in counteracting opioid evoked cardiorespiratory disturbances. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2009; 364:2611–23
Lalley PM, Bischoff AM, Richter DW: Serotonin 1A-receptor activation suppresses respiratory apneusis in the cat. Neurosci Lett 1994; 172:59–62
Bardin L, Colpaert FC: Role of spinal 5-HT(1A) receptors in morphine analgesia and tolerance in rats. Eur J Pain 2004; 8:253–61
Clarke RW, Harris J, Houghton AK: Spinal 5-HT-receptors and tonic modulation of transmission through a withdrawal reflex pathway in the decerebrated rabbit. Br J Pharmacol 1996; 119:1167–76
Deseure K, Bréand S, Colpaert FC: Curative-like analgesia in a neuropathic pain model: Parametric analysis of the dose and the duration of treatment with a high-efficacy 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist. Eur J Pharmacol 2007; 568:134–41
Colpaert FC, Deseure K, Stinus L, Adriaensen H: High-efficacy 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A receptor activation counteracts opioid hyperallodynia and affective conditioning. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006; 316:892–9
Clarke RW, Ward RE: The role of 5-HT(1A)-receptors in fentanyl-induced bulbospinal inhibition of a spinal withdrawal reflex in the rabbit. Pain 2000; 85:239–45
Oertel BG, Schneider A, Rohrbacher M, Schmidt H, Tegeder I, Geisslinger G, Lötsch J: The partial 5-hydroxytryptamine1A receptor agonist buspirone does not antagonize morphine-induced respiratory depression in humans. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2007; 81:59–68
Pavlaković G, Tigges J, Crozier TA: Effect of buspirone on thermal sensory and pain thresholds in human volunteers. BMC Clin Pharmacol 2009; 9:12
Fodale V, Pratico C, Tescione M, Tanania S, Lucanto T, Santamaria LB: Evidence of acute tolerance to remifentanil in intensive care but not in anesthesia. J Clin Anesth 2006; 18:293–6
Crawford MW, Hickey C, Zaarour C, Howard A, Naser B: Development of acute opioid tolerance during infusion of remifentanil for pediatric scoliosis surgery. Anesth Analg 2006; 102:1662–7
Tröster A, Sittl R, Singler B, Schmelz M, Schüttler J, Koppert W: Modulation of remifentanil-induced analgesia and postinfusion hyperalgesia by parecoxib in humans. ANESTHESIOLOGY 2006; 105:1016–23
Guignard B, Bossard AE, Coste C, Sessler DI, Lebrault C, Alfonsi P, Fletcher D, Chauvin M: Acute opioid tolerance: Intraoperative remifentanil increases postoperative pain and morphine requirement. ANESTHESIOLOGY 2000; 93:409–17
Vinik HR, Kissin I: Rapid development of tolerance to analgesia during remifentanil infusion in humans. Anesth Analg 1998; 86:1307–11
Lee LH, Irwin MG, Lui SK: Intraoperative remifentanil infusion does not increase postoperative opioid consumption compared with 70% nitrous oxide. ANESTHESIOLOGY 2005; 102:398–402
Kucukemre F, Kunt N, Kaygusuz K, Kiliccioglu F, Gurelik B, Cetin A: Remifentanil compared with morphine for postoperative patient-controlled analgesia after major abdominal surgery: A randomized controlled trial. Eur J Anaesthesiol 2005; 22:378–85
Angst MS, Chu LF, Tingle MS, Shafer SL, Clark JD, Drover DR: No evidence for the development of acute tolerance to analgesic, respiratory depressant and sedative opioid effects in humans. Pain 2009; 142:17–26
Gustorff B, Nahlik G, Hoerauf KH, Kress HG: The absence of acute tolerance during remifentanil infusion in volunteers. Anesth Analg 2002; 94:1223–8
Cortínez LI, Brandes V, Muñoz HR, Guerrero ME, Mur M: No clinical evidence of acute opioid tolerance after remifentanil-based anaesthesia. Br J Anaesth 2001; 87:866–9
Schraag S, Checketts MR, Kenny GN: Lack of rapid development of opioid tolerance during alfentanil and remifentanil infusions for postoperative pain. Anesth Analg 1999; 89:753–7
Clarke RW, Parry-Baggott C, Houghton AK, Ogilvie J: The involvement of bulbospinal pathways in fentanyl-induced inhibition of spinal withdrawal reflexes in the decerebrated rabbit. Pain 1998; 78:197–207
Bonnefont J, Chapuy E, Clottes E, Alloui A, Eschalier A: Spinal 5-HT1A receptors differentially influence nociceptive processing according to the nature of the noxious stimulus in rats: Effect of WAY-100635 on the antinociceptive activities of paracetamol, venlafaxine and 5-HT. Pain 2005; 114:482–90
Clarke RW, Ogilvie J, Houghton AK: Enhancement and depression of spinal reflexes by 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin in the decerebrated and spinalized rabbit: Involvement of 5-HT1A- and non-5-HT1A-receptors. Br J Pharmacol 1997; 122:631–8
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5  ). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2  ) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n  -propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1  ). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4  ). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3  ) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4  ) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5  ). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B  ).
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5 
	). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2 
	) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n 
	-propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1 
	). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4 
	). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3 
	) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4 
	) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5 
	). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B 
	).
Fig. 1. Remifentanil was infused continuously at a rate targeted to reduce respiratory frequency by more than 50% of the pretreatment level. Remifentanil concentrations are given as median with interquartile range (IQR) (A1–A5  ). Repinotan (n = 6) or (A2  ) 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n  -propylamino)-tetralin, n = 6) were injected every 15 min at increasing doses during remifentanil infusion; no doses of 8-OH-DPAT higher than 10 μg/kg were attempted because of the fatal cardiocirculatory depression seen in previous experiments (A1  ). Two series with NaCl (0.9%) to serve as controls were carried out (each n = 6) (A3, A4  ). After a NaCl (0.9%) series, a single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg, n = 6) (A3  ) or no repinotan (n = 6) was added, and tail-flick latencies (TFL) (A4  ) were taken for 1 h. A single dose of repinotan (10 μg/kg) was given without preceding remifentanil (A5  ). TFL were taken for 1 h (n = 7). One experiment was prematurely terminated because of technical problems and excluded from analysis. Repinotan was given at doses of 10 μg/kg (n = 6) or 20 μg/kg (n = 5; one experiment was excluded from analysis because of technical problems); NaCl (0.9%) injections served as controls. Remifentanil (bolus, 2.5 μg/kg) was injected 15 min thereafter (B  ).
×
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow  ; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P  < 0.05; **P  < 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow 
	; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P 
	< 0.05; **P 
	< 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
Fig. 2. Anesthetized rats (n = 6), breathing spontaneously, subjected to sustained ventilatory depression through continuous remifentanil infusion. The start of the remifentanil infusion is marked by an arrow  ; remifentanil was given continuously throughout experiments. Repinotan increased spontaneous minute ventilation (MV) in a dose-dependent manner from −56 [−67 to −52]% (remifentanil level) to a maximum of −4 [−8 to 35]% of the pretreatment level with the 100-μg/kg dose. 8-OH-DPAT ([+]-8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin) (n = 6) raised MV to 32 [−6 to 36]% at 10 μg/kg. MV remained depressed in controls with NaCl (0.9%) (n = 6). MV is shown as median percent change from the pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV %change = 100 × (MVtreatment/MVpretreatment) − 100. *P  < 0.05; **P  < 0.01; Friedman's ANOVA and Dunn's multiple comparison test, compared with remifentanil concentrations.
×
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars  ), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars  ), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars  ) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars  ). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars  ). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars  ) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P  < 0.01, *P  < 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars 
	), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars 
	), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars 
	) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars 
	). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars 
	). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars 
	) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P 
	< 0.01, *P 
	< 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
Fig. 3. Effects of repinotan (REP, 10 μg/kg), injected at the end of 80 min of continuous infusion of remifentanil (REMI, red bars  ), 80 min continuous remifentanil injection alone (blue bars  ), and REP alone without preceding REMI (10 μg/kg, green bars  ) on tail-flick reflex latencies (TFL). TFL (percent of maximum possible effect [%MPE]) are shown 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after stop of REMI. After stop of REMI infusion, the rapid decline of TFL indicates subsiding antinociception if no REP was involved (blue bars  ). Antinociception was extended to at least 30 min if REP was given at the end of REMI infusion (red bars  ). Single-dose REP without preceding REMI (green bars  ) did not induce antinociception. TFL are shown as %MPE (median with interquartile range [IQR]). Two data points in the REP and REMI group at 1:00 h, one in the REP and NaCl (0.9%) group at 0:45 h, and three at 1:00 h were missing because of technical difficulties. **P  < 0.01, *P  < 0.05, compared with the pretreatment level. Statistics: Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison, compared with pretreatment level.
×
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A  ). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A  ). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B  ).
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A 
	). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A 
	). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B 
	).
Fig. 4. Animal was breathing spontaneously through a tracheostomy tube. Arrows indicate time injection of remifentanil bolus. Remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) profoundly depressed spontaneous ventilation, as shown in a slow and irregular respiratory frequency with increased individual tidal volume (VT[ml/s]) (A  ). Repinotan (10 μg/kg) slightly increased VTbut not respiratory frequency (compared with A  ). The ventilatory depression upon a bolus of remifentanil (2.5 μg/kg) was markedly blunted (B  ).
×
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P  = 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P  < 0.05.
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P 
	= 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P 
	< 0.05.
Fig. 5. Anesthetized rats were breathing spontaneously. Repinotan alone (REP, 10 and 20 μg/kg) did not increase minute ventilation (MV) significantly. A bolus of remifentanil (REMI, 2.5 μg/kg) alone depressed spontaneous MV to −65 [−81 to −56]% (P  = 0.031). This was prevented by repinotan, as no statistically significant differences between REMI and pretreatment level were detectable. Control: MV measured 20 min after REP bolus injections showed a return to pretreatment levels in all three groups. Results are shown as median percent change of pretreatment level (%change) with interquartile range [IQR]. MV levels were compared with pretreatment levels with Friedman's ANOVA with Dunn's multiple comparison test. *P  < 0.05.
×
Table 1. Effects of Repinotan and 8-OH-DPAT during Continuous Remifentanil on MAP and HR
Image not available
Table 1. Effects of Repinotan and 8-OH-DPAT during Continuous Remifentanil on MAP and HR
×
Table 2. Effects of Remifentanil Bolus Injections after Repinotan Administration on MAP and HR
Image not available
Table 2. Effects of Remifentanil Bolus Injections after Repinotan Administration on MAP and HR
×