Epithelium-dependent potentiation of anaphylactic contractions by beta-endorphin in tracheae isolated from actively sensitized guinea-pigs

British Journal of Pharmacology
A J Van OosterhoutF P Nijkamp


1. It has been shown that opioid peptides modulate airway function. In the present study, the effect of beta-endorphin on antigen-induced contractions of isolated tracheal rings from actively sensitized guinea-pigs has been studied. 2. beta-Endorphin had a concentration-dependent bimodal effect on anaphylactic contractions of the trachea. Low concentrations of beta-endorphin (10(-10) and 10(-8) M) significantly potentiated anaphylactic contractions, whereas higher concentrations (10(-7) and 10(-6) M) significantly suppressed anaphylactic contractions of guinea-pig trachea. 3. beta-Endorphin in concentrations of 10(-8) M and 10(-7) M did not affect the responsiveness of the tracheal rings to histamine or leukotriene D4. This indicates that beta-endorphin does not influence the responsiveness of tracheal smooth muscle to anaphylactic mediators. 4. In the presence of the non-selective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone, 10(-8) M beta-endorphin still potentiated the anaphylactic contractions of the trachea. In addition, an equimolar concentration of des-Tyr1-beta-endorphin, a fragment of beta-endorphin without opioid-like activity, also potentiated anaphylactic contractions. The potentiation of anaphylactic contraction by 10(-8) M...Continue Reading


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