Central Nervous System Sites of Action of an Enkephalin Analogue, (D‐Met2, Pro5)‐Enkephalinamide, and Naloxone on the Secretion of Five Anterior Pituitary Hormones of Male Rats

Judith Molnár, Jenõ Marton, Béla Halász

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Central nervous system sites of action of opioid peptides on pituitary hormone secretion were investigated. One nmol of an enkephalin analogue, (D‐Met2, Pro5)‐enkephalinamide, and 10 nmol of the opiate antagonist naloxone were injected into ten different regions of the brain of conscious male rats and their effect on the release of five anterior pituitary hormones tested. The injections were made through a special injection cannula which was inserted into the brain through a guide cannula fixed on the skull and implanted into the brain 5 to 7 days earlier. Both compounds injected into the medial septum, medial preoptic area and hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus affected prolactin, growth hormone and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion. The enkephalin analogue stimulated prolactin and growth hormone and inhibited LH release. Naloxone induced the opposite effect. Drugs given into the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus caused changes in plasma prolactin and growth hormone levels. Enkephalinamide increased and naloxone decreased plasma concentrations of both hormones. Administration of the compounds into the dorsal raphe area resulted in alterations of prolactin and LH release, the analogue caused elevation of prolactin and inhibition of LH release, whereas the opiate antagonist resulted in opposite changes. Only an LH response was obtained from the hypothalamic dorsomedial nucleus and a growth hormone response from the central amygdala. Also in these cases the enkephalin analogue decreased LH and elevated growth hormone plasma levels, and naloxone brought about a rise in LH and a diminution of growth hormone concentration. None of the regions were effective in inducing a clear‐cut adrenocorticotrophin or follicle‐stimulating hormone response. The parietal cortex, medial amygdala and the dentate gyrus were entirely ineffective sites. The findings suggest that in the brain there are multiple sites of action of opioids on pituitary trophic hormone secretion and the effective sites are not identical in terms of pituitary hormone response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1990


  • growth hormone
  • luteinizing hormone
  • opioid peptides
  • prolactin
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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