Endorphins–Development of the Therapeutic Utility of Enkephalin Analogues

  • Robert C. A. Frederickson
Part of the Topics in the Neurosciences book series (TNSC, volume 2)


It is now more than a decade since the endogenous opioid peptides were first discovered. This discovery raised the optimistic hope that the elusive analgesic without abuse potential was finally near at hand. A more pessimistic view, on the other hand, opined that attempts to exploit the new discovery along these lines would merely result in the redesign of morphine. This difference of opinion hasn’t yet been finally resolved, but there can be little argument that this discovery caught the imagination of scientists throughout the world and resulted in extensive research in the opioid area. Ten years of research and development now give us more basis for reasoned evaluation of the status of the various opinions. Numerous endogenous opioid systems and multiple opioid receptors have since been characterized and one major result of this phenomenon has been the establishment of the concept that the presence of receptors for a drug in the brain predicts the existence of endogenous ligands for those receptors. This has stimulated the search for new endogenous ligands as leads for development of new neuropharmaceutical agents.


Opioid Receptor Analgesic Activity Opioid Peptide Physical Dependence Endogenous Opioid 
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Copyright information

© Matinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. A. Frederickson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Lilly Research LaboratoriesEli Lilly & CompanyIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Central Nervous System Research, Health Care Division–G3WEMonsanto CompanySt LouisUSA

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