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Pain and endorphin role of opioid peptides in acupuncture analgesia

, : Pain and endorphin role of opioid peptides in acupuncture analgesia. Journal of Tokyo Women's Medical College 58(11): 1146-1151

Possible roles of endogenous opioid peptides such as .beta.-endorphin, leu-enkephalin and dynorphin together with serotonin in acupuncture analgesia were studied in humans and rats. The levels of .beta.-endorphin in cerebrospinal fluid were elevated significantly in the normal men in whom electric acupuncture (EA) was effective, while those in peripheral blood case samples remained unchanged. In rats analgesic effects were related to serotonin by 45 Hz EA stimulation, while they were connected with leu-enkephalin and dynorphin by 5 Hz EA stimulation. It was concluded that involvement of humoral factors in acupuncture analgesia was complicated and different according to the species. Beta-endorphin in the blood vessels released from the pituitary gland may not play an important role in the descending pathway of acupuncture analgesia.


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