, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 357–361 | Cite as

Rotational behaviour produced by intranigral injections of bovine and human β-casomorphins in rats

  • Mario Herrera-Marschitz
  • Lars Terenius
  • Lars Grehn
  • Urban Ungerstedt
Original Investigations


The biological activity of β-casein derived β-casomorphin peptides was evaluated by injecting bovine β-casomorphin-5 (Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-Gly), the homologous sequence in human β-casein (Tyr-Pro-Phe-Val-Glu) and the corresponding N-terminal tetrapeptides into the left substantia nigra of rats. Their ability to produce rotational behaviour was compared to that produced by three reference compounds, morphine, d-ala2d-leu5enkephalin and U50,488H, ligands for μ, δ and κ types of opioid receptors, respectively. The relative potencies of β-casomorphins and morphine were compared to those tested in two in vitro assays for opioid activity: (1) inhibition of the electrically induced contraction of the isolated myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle of the guinea-pig ileum and (2) displacement of 3H-dihydromorphine binding to brain membranes. The same ranking order of potency was found in all three assays, the peptides from human β-casein being about 10-fold less potent than those from bovine β-casein. The effects of both morphine and bovine β-casomorphin-5 in producing rotational behaviour were antagonized by naloxone; however, approximately 10-fold more naloxone was required to antagonize the β-casomorphin-5 effect than that of morphine. The present data are discussed in the light of the recent observation that high concentration of β-casomorphin-like peptides are found in the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of women with postpartum psychosis.

Key words

Postpartum psychosis Basal ganglia β-Casein Opioid receptors Rotational behaviour Rat brain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Herrera-Marschitz
    • 1
  • Lars Terenius
    • 2
  • Lars Grehn
    • 3
  • Urban Ungerstedt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

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