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Brain beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity in adult rats given beta-endorphin neonatally.

  • Author(s): Moldow, RL
  • Kastin, AJ
  • Hollander, CS
  • Coy, DH
  • Sandman, CA
  • et al.

beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity was measured by radioimmunoassay in the brains of adult rats treated neonatally with beta-endorphin, naloxone, or vehicle. After treatment with beta-endorphin, the decreases observed in beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity in the hypothalamus, pineal, midbrain, pons-medulla, hippocampus, striatum, frontal cortex, occipital cortex, and posterior cortex were highly significant but the 23% decrease in the thalamus was not significantly different from that of control rats. Neonatal administration of naloxone only resulted in a significant decrease in beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity in the hypothalamus. In contrast, no differences were discernible in content of either beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity or ACTH-like immunoreactivity in the pituitary of rats treated with beta-endorphin, naloxone, or vehicle in the neonatal period. These same rats had shown an increased threshold to painful thermal stimulation by the tail-flick test after administration of either beta-endorphin or naloxone at birth. The results suggest that neonatally injected beta-endorphin may alter the levels of beta-endorphin-like immunoreactivity in rat brain as well as the response to pain.

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