Journal article

Endogenous cardiac opioids: enkephalins in adaptation and protection of the heart.

Olivier WV van den Brink, Lea M Delbridge, Franklin L Rosenfeldt, Daniel Penny, Donald S Esmore, Deahne Quick, David M Kaye, Salvatore Pepe

Heart, Lung & Circulation | Published : 2003


Opiates have been used for thousands of years in the form of opium for relief of pain or fever and to induce sleep. However, it was only in the 1970s that the endogenous ligands for the opiate receptors were identified and termed opioid peptides. Opioid peptides activate G protein-coupled receptors in the central and autonomic nervous system, with marked effects on the regulation of pain perception, body temperature, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. Cardiovascular regulatory effects of endogenous opioids were initially considered to originate from neural centres in the central nervous system, facilitating a regulatory role in neuro-transmission, as demonstrated by the presynaptic ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


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