OPIOID BIOLOGY: THE NEXT SET OF QUESTIONS

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    Abstract

    Abstract: :A range of biologically different opioid peptides are synthesised as components of three distinct precursors, pro‐opiomelanocortin, proenkephalin, and prodynorphin. They interact with a number of receptors which have so far been characterised as mu, delta, kappa, sigma, and epsilon. It is unclear which ligands bind to which receptors under physiological circumstances, but preferential in vitro interactions include enkephalins with delta receptors, dynorphin with kappa receptors, and /?‐endorphin with epsilon receptors. Post‐translational processing determines which of several opioid products are produced from each precursor, but the identity of the enzymes involved and regulation of processing is unknown. Opioid involvement in the neuroendocrine and cardiovascular systems is reviewed. Naloxone‐sensitive opioid mechanisms are implicated in the control of gonadotrophin and adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion and in the hypotension of various types of shock. The investigation of possible dynorphin involvement in neurohypophysial function is taking place because vasopressin and dynorphin A (1–8) have been shown to coexist in the neurosecretory vesicles of magnocellular neurons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)98-106
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985

    Keywords

    • dynorphins
    • endorphins
    • Enkephalins
    • naloxone.
    • opioid precursors
    • opioid receptors
    • post‐translational processing

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