Assay of endogenous opiate receptor ligands in human CSF and plasma

D. Naber, D. Pickar, R. A. Dionne, D. L. Bowie, B. A. Ewels, T. W. Moody, M. G. Soble, C. B. Pert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rapid and reliable radioreceptor assay for measuring endogenous opiate peptides in human CSF and plasma has been developed. The method is based on the competition between [ 3H]-[D-Ala 2]enkephalin-(L-leu-amide) 5 and biologically active opioids for binding sites using crude rat brain membranes. Sensitivity is about 250 fmol/ml sample; 100 μl of plasma or CSF inhibit the total binding within the range of 25-75%. At therapeutic concentrations, psychotropic drugs do not interfere with the assay. Elution profiles of CSF and plasma show two major peaks, probably representing endorphin-like and enkephalin-like compounds. Normal levels, expressed in β-endorphin-like activity, are 1.4-4.8 pmol/ml for extracted plasma and 7.1-15.8 pmol/ml for CSF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance and Alcohol Actions/Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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