To evaluate the role of the opiate-like peptidergic pathways in modulating the pituitary hormone response to stress, we measured the GH, PRL, and cortisol responses to hypoglycemia and exercise in normal subjects with and without pretreatment with naloxone, given in the centrally active dose of 0.4 mg iv. Basal serum levels of GH, PRL, and cortisol were not changed significantly by prior naloxone administration. The maximum incremental response of GH to exercise was significantly blunted (13.1 ± 1.6 vs. 6.0 ± 1.4; P < 0.001) by prior naloxone administration. Pretreatment with naloxone did not affect the responses of GH, PRL, or cortisol to hypoglycemia or the PRL response to L-dopa. On the basis of these studies we conclude that the opiate-like peptidergic pathways are not important in the regulation of basal levels of GH, PRL, and cortisol and have only a modest modulating influence on the stressinduced release of the hormones, which may be obscured in the face of severe stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical