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      Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Reduces Pressure Pain Sensitivity in Humans without Involvement of β-Endorphin(1–31), but Does Not Reduce Heat Pain Sensitivity

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          Abstract

          In the present study the effects of intravenously administered corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) on the release of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) derivatives such as adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), β-lipotropin (β-LPH) and β-endorphin (β-END) as well as direct effects of CRH on pain sensitivity were examined. In 16 healthy volunteers we studied the effects of 100 µg intravenously administered CRH in absence or presence of 12 mg naloxone on heat or pressure pain sensitivity, using a double-blind, cross-over and placebo-controlled design. To evaluate analgesic effects of CRH via release of POMC derivatives, we determined plasma concentrations of β-END-immunoreactive material (IRM), authentic β-END (β-END(1–31)) and β-LPH IRM, in parallel with heat and pressure pain tolerance thresholds before and 15 and 30 min after treatment with CRH (or placebo), and 5 min after naloxone (or placebo) administration which was administered 40 min after CRH (or placebo) injection. CRH increased levels of β-END IRM, β-END(1–31) and β-LPH IRM. As compared to β-END IRM levels measured by a commercial RIA kit, the β-END(1–31) levels determined by a highly specific two-site RIA, proved to be remarkably small. Furthermore, CRH did not induce increases of heat pain tolerance thresholds, but of pressure pain tolerance thresholds, which, however, were not reversible by naloxone. Neither β-END nor β-LPH IRM nor β-END(1–31) levels correlated with heat or pressure pain tolerance thresholds. We conclude that CRH does not modulate heat, but pressure pain; POMC derivatives like β-END IRM, β-END(1–31) or β-LPH do not mediate this effect.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Loss of morphine-induced analgesia, reward effect and withdrawal symptoms in mice lacking the mu-opioid-receptor gene.

           P Dollé,  E Tzavara,  S Slowe (1996)
          Despite tremendous efforts in the search for safe, efficacious and non-addictive opioids for pain treatment, morphine remains the most valuable painkiller in contemporary medicine. Opioids exert their pharmacological actions through three opioid-receptor classes, mu, delta and kappa, whose genes have been cloned. Genetic approaches are now available to delineate the contribution of each receptor in opioid function in vivo. Here we disrupt the mu-opioid-receptor gene in mice by homologous recombination and find that there are no overt behavioural abnormalities or major compensatory changes within the opioid system in these animals. Investigation of the behavioural effects of morphine reveals that a lack of mu receptors abolishes the analgesic effect of morphine, as well as place-preference activity and physical dependence. We observed no behavioural responses related to delta- or kappa-receptor activation with morphine, although these receptors are present and bind opioid ligands. We conclude that the mu-opioid-receptor gene product is the molecular target of morphine in vivo and that it is a mandatory component of the opioid system for morphine action.
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            Preparation of iodine-131 labelled human growth hormone of high specific activity.

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              Abeta-fiber nociceptive primary afferent neurons: a review of incidence and properties in relation to other afferent A-fiber neurons in mammals.

              The existence of nociceptors with Abeta-fibers has often been overlooked, and many textbooks endorse the view that all nociceptors have either C- or Adelta-fibers. Here we review evidence starting from the earliest descriptions of A-fiber nociceptors, which clearly indicates that a substantial proportion of cutaneous/somatic afferent A-fiber nociceptors conduct in the Abeta conduction velocity (CV) range in all species in which CV was carefully examined, including mouse, rat, guinea pig, cat and monkey. Reported proportions of A-fiber nociceptors with Abeta-fibers vary from 18% to 65% in different species, usually >50% in rodents. In rat, about 20% of all somatic afferent neurons with Aalpha/beta-fibers were nociceptive. Distributions of CVs of A-fiber nociceptors usually appear unimodal, with a median/peak in the upper Adelta or lower Abeta CV range. We find no evidence to suggest discontinuous differences in electrophysiological or cytochemical properties of Adelta and Abeta nociceptors, rather there are gradual changes in relation to CV. However, some functional differences have been reported. In cat, A-fiber nociceptors with lower mechanical thresholds (moderate pressure receptors) tend to have faster CVs [P.R. Burgess, D. Petit, R.M. Warren. Receptor types in cat hairy skin supplied by myelinated fibers. J. Neurophysiol. 31 (1968) 833-848]. In primate (monkey) A-fiber nociceptors that responded to heat were divided into type I A mechano-heat (AMH) units (Adelta and Abeta CVs) with lower mechanical and higher heat thresholds and may include moderate pressure receptors, and type II AMH units (Adelta CVs) with higher mechanical/lower heat thresholds. It is important that the existence of Abeta nociceptors is recognised, because assumptions that fast conducting, large diameter afferents are always low threshold mechanoreceptors might lead/have led to misinterpretations of data.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2005
                May 2006
                08 May 2006
                : 82
                : 3-4
                : 185-197
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, bRudolf Buchheim Institute for Pharmacology, and cInstitute of Medical Statistics and Informatics, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany
                Article
                91980 Neuroendocrinology 2005;82:185–197
                10.1159/000091980
                16534240
                © 2005 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
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 51, Pages: 13
                Categories
                Original Paper

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