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Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1992 Mar;126(3):213-6.

Inhibition by ethanol of the oxytocin response to breast stimulation in normal women and the role of endogenous opioids.

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1
University Clinic of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Parma, Italy.

Abstract

The possible inhibition exerted by ethanol on the oxytocin response to breast stimulation was tested in normal women. The possible role of endogenous opioids in the control of the oxytocin response to breast stimulation and/or ethanol action was also examined. Sixteen normal women were tested four times on the 22nd day of four consecutive regular menstrual cycles. All women underwent mechanical breast stimulation (for 10 min) with the concomitant administration of normal saline, naloxone (2 or 4 mg in an iv bolus plus 5 or 10 mg over 16 min), ethanol (50 ml in 110 ml of whisky po) or the combination of ethanol and naloxone. Plasma oxytocin levels rose about twofold after breast stimulation, with a mean peak response at 10 min. The oxytocin response to breast stimulation was not changed by the treatment with the lower (2 plus 5 mg) or the higher (4 plus 10 mg) dose of naloxone, whereas it was completely abolished by ethanol. However, when ethanol was given together with naloxone, the oxytocin rise induced by breast stimulation was only partially inhibited by ethanol (the mean oxytocin peak was 50% higher than baseline). At both doses naloxone produced similar effects. These data demonstrate that ethanol inhibits the oxytocin response to breast stimulation. Naloxone sensitive endogenous opioids do not appear to be involved in the control of the oxytocin rise induced by breast stimulation. In contrast, since naloxone partially reversed the inhibiting effects of ethanol, a partial involvement of opioid peptides in ethanol action is supposed.

PMID:
1574949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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