Modulation of mitogen-induced spleen cell proliferation and the antibody-forming cell response by beta-endorphin in vivo.

PMID 2474158


Experiments were conducted which compared the in vivo effects of beta-endorphin (BEP), gamma-endorphin (gamma EP), methionine-enkephalin (Met-ENK), and acetylated BEP(1-27) on the in vitro proliferative response of rat spleen cells to concanavalin A (ConA). In addition, the influence of BEP administration on the primary and secondary antibody-forming cell (AFC) response to the soluble antigen keyhole-limpet hemocyanin (KLH) was examined. Intravenous administration of BEP enhanced the spleen cell proliferative response to ConA assessed 3 hr after a single bolus infusion. Conversely, infusion with AcBEP(1-27) suppressed the proliferative response, whereas no effects of intravenous gamma EP or Met-ENK treatment were observed. The enhancing effect of BEP administration was not detectable 24 hr after a single infusion, but could be maintained over a 44 hr period by multiple infusions. The primary AFC response to KLH was suppressed by a dose of 1 nmole BEP only. On the other hand, the secondary IgG AFC response to KLH was enhanced by 10 pmoles BEP, while the IgM and IgA AFC responses remained unaltered by BEP treatment. The anamnestic in vitro proliferative response of spleen cells cultured with KLH was not altered if BEP was administered at the time of secondary KLH immunization. These results extend previous observations of BEP-induced modulation of in vitro immune function by demonstrating that opioid and nonopioid forms of BEP administered in vivo alter the capacity of spleen cells to proliferate and develop antibody responses to antigen.