Early ontogeny of kappa-opioid receptor regulation of prolactin secretion in the rat.
Although both mu- and kappa-opioid components of prolactin (PRL) secretion have been identified in the adult rat, the neural pathways through which these multiple receptor subtypes modulate PRL secretion have not been thoroughly investigated. The present study utilizes the differential ontogeny of opioid systems which alter PRL release to examine the mechanisms by which mu- and kappa-receptors regulate prolactin. The responses of PRL, corticosterone and growth hormone to opioid receptor subtype-specific agonists were studied in neonatal rats. The PRL response to the kappa-agonist, U50488, preceded the response to the mu-agonist, morphiceptin. Like adults, neonates demonstrated a growth hormone, but not a PRL, response to the delta agonist, [D-pen2,pen5]enkephalin. U50488-induced PRL secretion was not attenuated by cyproheptadine in adults or neonates, suggesting that the kappa-opioid mechanism operates independently of serotonin. In contrast, the PRL response to morphine was attenuated in adult rats. In addition, U50488 decreased median eminence dopamine synthesis in both adults and neonates. These findings suggest that the early developing, serotonin-independent opioid regulation of PRL is mediated through kappa-receptors, while the later-developing mechanism which requires intact serotonergic transmission works through mu-receptors. kappa-Receptors appear to regulate PRL secretion by directly inhibiting the activity of tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons, while mu-receptors might regulate the tonic dopaminergic inhibition of PRL through a serotonergic pathway.
Bero, LA; Lurie, SN; Kuhn, CM
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