Localization of β-Endorphin in the Rat Heart and Modulation by Testosterone

L. J. Forman, S. Estilow, C. E. Hock

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22 Scopus citations


Chromatographic analysis and radioimmunoassay were used to identify and quantitate β-endorphin (BE) and β-lipotropin (B-LPH) in the hearts (devoid of major blood vessels and atria) from intact male rats, castrated male rats, and castrated male rats treated with testosterone proprionate (TP). BE and B-LPH in the plasma of these animals were also identified and measured. In comparison to intact animals, castration resulted in a significant elevation in the content of BE in the heart which was reversed by the administration of TP. The content of B-LPH in the heart was not affected by castration or castration in combination with TP. The ratio of BE to B-LPH in the heart of castrated animals was significantly elevated as compared with intact controls. Treatment of castrates with TP returned the ratio of BE to B-LPH to that observed in intact animals. The concentration of BE in the plasma was greater in castrated rats and castrated rats given TP than in intact males, whereas the concentration of B-LPH was diminished in castrated animals given TP. The ratio of BE to B-LPH was greater in castrated animals treated with TP than in castrated and intact animals. The content of BE and B-LPH, as well as the ratios of the two peptides, varied independently in the cardiac tissue and plasma. The present findings indicated that (i) BE and B-LPH are present in cardiac tissue, (ii) the amount of BE and B-LPH in the heart and the ratio of BE to B-LPH appear to be modulated by TP, and (iii) BE and B-LPH detected in the heart was not simply a reflection of the presence of these peptides in the plasma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-245
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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