Prolactin and growth hormone release by morphine in the rat: different receptor mechanisms

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Science  20 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4561, pp. 745-747
DOI: 10.1126/science.6285470


Concentrations of prolactin and growth hormone in the serum of rats were significantly increased by morphine. Dose response studies demonstrated that maximum prolactin release required lower doses of morphine than those needed for the maximum growth hormone response. Selective blockade of mu 1 (high affinity) opiate receptor with the irreversible antagonist naloxazone reduced morphine-induced peak concentrations of prolactin by 80 percent while increasing peak growth hormone levels by 250 percent. These results suggest different receptor mechanisms for the opiate modulation of the two hormones. The mu 1 (high affinity) receptor sites appear to mediate the morphine-induced release of prolactin but not growth hormone.