Thomas Buratti a , Peter Schratzberger a , Stefan Dunzendorfer a , Susanne E. Manfreda a , Christoph Pechlaner a , Michael Joannidis a , Paula Sacerdote b , Alberto E. Panerai b , Christian J. Wiedermann a
14 August 1998
Lymphocytes can be activated to produce and release opioid peptides. We investigated the levels of immunoreactive β-endorphin in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 11 patients with acute myocardial infarction. The concentrations of β-endorphin in mononuclear leukocytes of 30.2 ± 6.9 pg/10<sup>6</sup> cells on admission were in the normal range of 20–40 pg/10<sup>6</sup> cells and decreased significantly to 6.9 ± 1.9 pg/10<sup>6</sup> cells after 48 h (p < 0.05). Decreased levels of mononuclear leukocyte-associated β-endorphin in acute myocardial infarction may be due to the release of endogenous opioid after stimulation by stress and acute-phase reactants and play a role in inflammation and pain.