Relation of Endogenous Opiates to Secretion of Gonadotropins

  • Joseph Meites
  • Karen Briski
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


In recent years considerable evidence has been reported indicating that the endogenous opioid peptides (EOP) have an important role in regulating secretion of pituitary hormones. B-endorphin, the enkephalins, and dynorphin appear to be the major EOPs and all may participate in control of pituitary hormone secretion. Each of these opiates has different receptors, but can be displaced from their receptors to variable degrees by morphine (MOR) or by the specific opiate antagonists, naloxone (NAL) or naltrexone (NALT). The EOP in the hypothalamus have been shown to be strongly localized in areas that contain GnRH neurons and neurons that secrete neurotransmitters which modulate GnRH release. Their inhibitory effects on gonadotropin release appear to be exerted via hypothalamic neurotransmitters and GnRH, and not directly on the pituitary. Evidence will be presented showing that the EOP are involved in regulating both basal and altered gonadotropin secretion during different endocrine states.


Luteinizing Hormone Gonadal Steroid GnRH Neuron Luteinizing Hormone Secretion Endogenous Opioid Peptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. T. Hughes, W. Smith, H. W. Kosterlitz, L. A. Fothergill, B. A. Morgan, and H. R. Morris, Identification of two related pentapeptides from the brain with potent opiate agonist activity, Nature 258:577 (1 975).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. F. Bruni, D. Van Vugt, S. Marshall, and J. Meites, Effects of naloxone, morphine and methionine enkephalin on serum prolactin, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone and growth hormone, Life Sci 21: 461 (1977).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. S. Blank, A. E. Paneri, and H. G. Friesen, Opioid peptides modulate luteinizing hormone secretion during sexual maturation, Science 203: 1129 (1979).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. Ieiri, H. T. Chen, and J. Meites, Naloxone stimulation of luteinizing hormone release in prepubertal female rats; role of serotonergic system, Life Sci 26: 1269 (1980).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    D. A. Van Vugt, A. G. Bakst, I, Dryenfurth, and M. Ferin, Naloxone stimulation of luteinizing hormone secretion in the female monkey: influence of endocrine and experimental conditions, Endocrinology 11 3:1 858 (1 983).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. E. Morley, N. G. Baranetsky, T. D. Wingert, H. E. Carlson, J. M. Hershman, S. Melmed, S. R. Levin, K. R. Jamison, R. Weitzman, R. J. Chang, and A. A. Varner, Endocrine effects of naloxone-induced opiate receptor blockade, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab 50: 251 (1980).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Takahara, J. Kageyama, S. Yunoki, W. Yakushiji, W. Yamanuchi, N. Kageyama, and T. Ofuji, Effects of 2-bromo-a-ergocryptine on B-endorphin-induced growth hormone, prolactin and luteinizing hormone release in urethane anesthetized rats, Life Sci 22: 2205 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. Motta and L. Martini, Effect of opioid peptides on gonadotrophin secretion, Acta Endocrinologica 99: 321 (1982).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    L. J. Forman, W. E. Sonntag, and J. Meites, Elevation of plasma Ili in response to systemic injection of B-endorphin antiserum in adult male rats, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med 173:14 (1 983).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Schulz, A. Wilhelm, K. N. Pirke, C. Gramsch, and A. Herz, B-endorphin and dynorphin control serum luteinizing hormone levels in immature female rats, Nature 294: 757 (1981).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    C. A. Barraclough and C. H. Sawyer, Inhibition of the release of pituitary ovulatory hormone in the rat by morphine, Endocrinology 57: 329 (1955).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    C. N. Pang, E. Zimmerman, and C. H. Sawyer, Morphine inhibition of the pre-ovulatory surges of plasma luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in the rat, Endocrinology 101: 1726 (1977).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    T. Ieiri, H. T. Chen, G. A. Campbell, and J. Meites, Effects of naloxone and morphine on the proestrous surge of prolactin and gonadotropins in the rat, Endocrinology 106: 1568 (1980).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    P. W. Sylvester, H. T. Chen, and J. Meites, Effects of morphine and naloxone on phasic release of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 164: 207 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. F. Ropert, M. E. Quigley, and S. S. C. Yen, Endogenous opiates modulate pulsatile luteinizing hormone release in humans, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab 52: 583 (1981).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    W. B. Wehrenberg, S. L. Wardlaw, A. G. Frantz, M. Ferin, B-endorphin in hypophyseal portal blood: variations throughout the menstrual cycle, Endocrinology 111: 879 (1982).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D. A. Van Vugt, J. F. Bruni, and J. Meites, Effects of morphine and naloxone on the post-castration rise of luteinizing hormone, IRCS Med. Sci: Endocrinol 7: 56 (1978).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    T. J. Cicero, B. A. Schainker, and E. R. Meyer, Endogenous opioids participate in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitaryluteinizing hormone axis and testosterone’s negative feedback control of luteinizing hormone, Endocrinology 1014: 1286 (1979).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    D. A. Van Vugt, P. W. Sylvester, C. F. Aylsworth, and J. Meites, Counteraction of gonadal-steroid inhibition of luteinizing hormone release by naloxone, Neuroendocrinology 314:2714 (1982).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    P. W. Sylvester, D. A. Van Vugt, C. F. Aylsworth, E. A. Hanson, and J. Meites, Effects of morphine and naloxone on inhibition by ovarian hormones of pulsatile release of LH in ovariectomized rats, Neuroendocrinology 34: 269 (1982).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    S. Wardlow, W. B. Wehrenberg, M. Ferin, J. L..Antunes, and A. G. Frantz, Effects of sex steroids on B-endorphin in hypophyseal portal blood, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 55:877 (1982).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    H. Akil, J. Madden, R. L. Patrick, and J. D. Barchas. Stress-induced increase in endogenous opiate-peptides: concurrent analgesia and its partial reversal by naloxone, in: “Opiates and Endogenous Opioid Peptides,” H. W. Kosterlitz, ed., North Holland Publishing (1976).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    D. A. Van Vugt, C. F. Aylsworth, P. W. Sylvester, F. C. Leung, and J. Meites, Evidence for hypothalamic noradrenergic involvement in naloxone-induced stimulation of luteinizing hormone release, Neuroendocrinology 33:261 (1981).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    D. de Wied, J. M. van Ree, and W. de Jong, Narcotic analgesics and the neuroendocrine control of anterior pituitary function, in: Narcotics and the Hypothalamus,“ E. Zimmerman and R. George, eds., Raven Press, New York (19714).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    P. Savard, N. Barden, Y. Mirand, D. Rouleau, and A. Dupont, Effect of estrogen and haloperidol treatment on brain met-enkephalin levels and receptors in rats, Endocrine Soc. Absts, no. 586, p. 221 (1980).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Meites
    • 1
  • Karen Briski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology Neuroendocrine Research LaboratoryMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations