Surgical stress in humans is acompanied by an increase in plasma beta-endorphin immunoreactivity

Michel Dubois, David Pickar, Martin R. Cohen, Yolanda F. Roth, Thomas Macnamara, William E. Bunney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Surgical stress, but not anesthesia induction, produced a significant increase in plasma beta-endorphin immunoreactivity in eight patients undergoing abdominal surgery. This increase was closely correlated with a parallel increase in plasma cortisol. Post-operative morphine administered for pain relief was associated with a significant reduction in plasma levels of both beta-endorphin and cortisol. These results demonstrate the responsiveness of the endorphin system to acute stress in humans and provide additional evidence linking plasma beta-endorphin to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1254
Number of pages6
JournalLife Sciences
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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