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Peptides. 2005 Apr;26(4):607-14. Epub 2004 Dec 30.

Cardiovascular effects of endomorphins in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, 222 Tian Shui South Road, Lanzhou 730000, PR China.


Endomorphins, the endogenous, potent and selective mu-opioid receptor agonists, have been shown to decrease systemic arterial pressure (SAP) in rats. In the present study, responses to endomorphins were investigated in systemic vascular bed of alloxan-induced diabetic rats and in non-diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by alloxan (220 mg/kg, i.p.) in male Wistar rats. At 4-5 weeks after the onset of diabetes, intravenous injections of endomorphins (1-30 nmol/kg) led to an increase of SAP and heart rate (HR) consistently and dosed-dependently. SAP increased 7.68+/-3.73, 11.19+/-4.55, 21.19+/-2.94 and 27.48+/-6.21% from the baseline at the 1, 3, 10 and 30 nmol/kg dose, respectively, of endomorphin 1 (n=4; p<0.05), and similar changes were observed in response to endomorphin 2. The hypertension could be antagonized markedly by i.p. 2 mg/kg of naloxone. On the other hand, bilateral vagotomy would attenuate the effects of hypertension and diminished the changes of HR in response to endomorphins. With diabetic rats, 6-10 weeks after the induction of diabetes, intravenous injections of endomorphins produced non-dose-related various changes in SAP, such as a single decrease, or a single increase, or biphasic changes characterized by an initial decrease followed by a secondary increase, or no change at all. These results suggest that diabetes may lead to the dysfunction of the cardiovascular system in response to endomorphins. Furthermore, the diabetic rats of 4-5 weeks after alloxan-treatment, the increase in SAP and HR caused by i.v. endomorphins might be explained by a changed effect of vagus and by a naloxone-sensitive mechanism.

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