Dynorphin is an opioid peptide distributed throughout the central nervous system. Using a highly specific and sensitive radioimmunoassay for dynorphin we have examined the effect of stress on ir-dynorphin levels in the cortex and hypothalamus of the rat. Stresses related to food ingestion, i.e. starvation (72 hr), mild tail-pinch and insulin (10 U/kg) induced hypoglycemia all produced alterations in ir-dynorphin levels in the cortex. In contrast, restraint stress and 10-minute swim stress produced no changes in ir-dynorphin levels in either the hypothalamus or the cortex. Two hour exposure at 4°C resulted in a fall in ir-dynorphin levels in the hypothalamus. Taken together with previously reported pharmacological effects of dynorphin-(1-13), these results suggest a possible physiological role for dynorphin in appetite and temperature regulation.
- Opioid peptides