Effects of beta-endorphin on ornithine decarboxylase in tissues of developing rats: a potential role for this endogenous neuropeptide in the modulation of tissue growth.
Ornithine decarboxlyase (ODC) catalyzes the initial step in the bio-synthesis of the polyamines spermidine and spermine, which are key regulators of cell growth, proliferation and differentiation. Intracisternal administration of beta-endorphin (1 microgram) to 6 day-old rats markedly decreased brain, liver, heart and kidney ODC activity. Conversely, subcutaneous administration of beta-endorphin increased ODC activity in the heart and liver. Thus, ODC inhibition in peripheral organs in rat pups given beta-endorphin intracisternally appears to reflect central effects of this neuropeptide. Experiments were also carried out to test whether opioid receptors are involved in these tissue ODC responses. Naloxone prevented the decreases in brain ODC indicating the participation of opioid receptors in that process. In contrast, naloxone did not alter ODC responses in peripheral organs in rat pups given beta-endorphin intracisternally, indicating that these effects are independent of its classical opioid character. These results support the view that endogenous beta-endorphin may play an important role in organogenesis by modulating the growth-related enzyme ODC. The data also suggest that the regulation of peripheral organ development by beta-endorphin may be mediated through the release of growth regulatory substances from the CNS.
Bartolome, JV; Bartolome, MB; Daltner, LA; Evans, CJ; Barchas, JD; Kuhn, CM; Schanberg, SM
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