Advertisement

Endorphins and Pain

Chapter
  • 52 Downloads

Abstract

It is well known for many centuries already that opium, derived from the poppy plant, causes pain relief and euphoria. This latter is thought to be an important factor in the addictive properties of opium (Van Ree, 1979). After the discovery of morphine as the most effective analgesic and addictive component of opium, attempts were made to prepare morphine related drugs in order to separate the desired analgesic and the undesirable addictive properties. Although these attempts were not very succesful, the structure activity relationship studies have revealed the concept that specific opiate receptors are present in the body. In 1973 binding studies with brain tissue indeed have suggested the existence of such receptors (Terenius, 1973). Subsequently the presence of endogenous substances that can activate these receptor systems was postulated. This suggestion accords well with findings showing that animals and humans have to a certain extent control over pain sensation. It was demonstrated in 1975 that brain tissue contains two pentapeptides, called enkephalins, that have morphine-like properties as assessed using isolated tissue preparations in vitro (Hughes et al., 1975). Since then several peptides with morphine-like action have been isolated from brain and other tissue. These substances are called endorphins (endogenous morphine). Soon after their discovery these peptides have been implicated in pain related mechanisms, in chronic pain and various psychopathological disorders such as psychosis, depression, mania and addiction.

Keywords

Opioid Receptor Opioid Peptide Addictive Behavior Opiate Antagonist Structure Activity Relationship Study 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Cronin, G.M., Wiepkema, P.R. and Van Ree, J.M. (1985). Endogenous opioids are involved in abnormal stereotyped behaviours of tethered sows. Neuropeptides 6, 527–530.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    De Wied, D. (1977). Peptides and behavior. Life Sci. 20, 195–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Henry, J.L. (1982). Circulating opioids: possible physiological roles in central nervous function. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 6, 229–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hughes, J., Smith, T.W., Kosterlitz, H.W., Fothergill, L.A., Morgan, B.A. and Morris, H.R. (1975). Identification of two related pentapeptides from the brain with potent opiate agonist activity. Nature 258, 577–579.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lagerweij, E., Nelis, P.C, Wiegant, V.M. and Van Ree, J.M. The twitch in horses: a variant of acupuncture. Science, in press.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Panksepp, J., Herman, B.H., Vilberg, T., Bishop, P. and DeEskinazi, F.G. (1980). Endogenous opioids and social behavior. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 4, 473–487.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Terenius, L. (1973). Characteristics of the “receptor” for narcotic analgesics in synaptic plasma membrane fraction from rat brain. Acta Pharmacol. Toxicol. 33, 377–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Van Ree, J.M. (1979). Reinforcing stimulus properties of drugs. Neuropharmacology 18, 963–969.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Van Ree, J.M. and Niesink, R.J.M. (1983). Low doses of 8-endorphin increase social contacts of rats tested in dyadic encounters. Life Sci. 33, 611–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Van Ree, J.M., De Wied, D., Bradbury, A.F., Hulme, E.C., Smyth, D.G. and Snell, C.R. (1976). Induction of tolerance to the analgesic action of lipotropin C-fragment. Nature 264, 792–794.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Van Ree, J.M., Smyth, D.G. and Colpaert, F. (1979). Dependence creating properties of lipotropin C-fragment (8-endorphin): evidence for its internal control of behavior. Life Sci. 24, 495–502.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Watkins, L.R. and Mayer, D.J. (1982). Organization of endogenous opiate and nonopiate pain control systems. Science 216, 1185–1192.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Watson, S.J., Akil, H., Berger, Ph.A. and Barchas, J.D. (1979). Some observations on the opiate peptides and schizophrenia. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 36, 35–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Watson, S.J., Akil, H., Ghazarossian, V.E. and Goldstein, A. (1981). Dynorphin immunocytochemical localization in brain and peripheral nervous system: Preliminary studies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78, 1260–1263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wei, E. and Loh, H. (1976). Physical dependence on opiate-like peptides. Science 193, 1262–1263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wood, P.L. (1982). Multiple opiate receptors: Support for unique mu, delta and kappa sites. Neuropharmacology 21, 487–497.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations