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      Effect of Chronic Morphine on Plasma and Brain Beta Endorphin and Methionine Enkephalin in Pregnant Rats and in Their Fetuses or Newborn

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          Abstract

          Normal or pregnant rats were treated orally for 21 days or throughout pregnancy with water or increasing doses of morphine and killed on days 7, 14, and 21 of pregnancy and 1 day post partum. At these time intervals, plasma, pituitary, and hypothalamic concentrations of β-endorphin and methionine enkephaline were measured in normal and pregnant rats. Moreover, pituitary and hypothalamic concentrations of the two peptides were also measured in fetuses and newborn. Plasma β-endorphin and methionine enkephalin increased significantly during pregnancy without any specific effect of morphine. Pituitary concentrations of β-endorphin were not modified either by pregnancy or morphine treatment, while methionine enkephalin concentrations increased on days 7 and 11 of pregnancy, in both water- and morphine-treated rats. The pattern of the two peptides in the hypothalamus is completely superimposable to the one present in the pituitary with the exception of an increase of β-endorphin on day 21 of pregnancy, which is more evident in control animals. Consistently with our observations in human newborn and the neurological dysfunctions we observed in them, the concentrations of both the peptides are significantly increased in the hypothalamus of fetuses and newborn of morphine-treated mothers, while in the pituitary only β-endorphin concentrations are increased.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEN
          Neuroendocrinology
          10.1159/issn.0028-3835
          Neuroendocrinology
          S. Karger AG
          0028-3835
          1423-0194
          1988
          1988
          02 April 2008
          : 47
          : 2
          : 89-94
          Affiliations
          Department of Pharmacology Neonatal Service, School of Medicine, University of Milan, Italy
          Article
          124897 Neuroendocrinology 1988;47:89–94
          10.1159/000124897
          2963966
          © 1988 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 6
          Categories
          Original Paper

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