Endorphins may function in heat adaptation

J. W. Holaday, E. Wei, H. H. Loh, C. H. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Administration of the opiate antagonist naloxone to rats after acute or chronic heat exposure precipitates an increase in colonic temperature, an increase in escape attempts, and a decrease in body weight. These changes are accompanied by signs associated with hyperthermia such as salivation, diarrhea, and an abnormal extended posture. Although brain endorphin involvement is possible, hypophysectomy diminishes the intensity and magnitude of these naloxone effects, indicating that the naloxone effect in intact animals may be due to a functional antagonism of pituitary endorphins. These observations suggest that endorphins attenuate physiological responses to thermal and noxious stimuli triggered in common neuroanatomical pathways by heat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2923-2927
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1978


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