Ontogeny of endocrine responses to methadone in rats.
The effects of methadone (METH) on serum levels of prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH), corticosterone (CS) and TSH were determined in developing rats. METH increased PRL, GH and CS and decreased TSH at all ages tested, but the time course and magnitude of these effects changed during ontogeny. METH effects on day 10 were lower in magnitude than those observed in adults. In 20 day old pups, METH effects on GH and CS were comparable to those of adults, but TSH effects were still blunted. METH effects on hormone secretion in both 10 and 20 day old pups lasted longer than those observed in adults. Naloxone blocked all hormonal responses in adults, but did not completely block METH effects on CS secretion in 10 day old pups.
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