In addition to neuromodulation, endogenous opioids also serve as growth factors. To investigate the involvement of the naturally occurring opioid peptide [Met5]enkephalin [termed opioid growth factor (OGF)] in the renewal of epithelium, adult mice were given systemic injections of OGF (1 mg/kg) and examined 2 h later at 0700 or 1700 h. DNA synthesis in the tongue was investigated using [3H]thymidine and autoradiography. OGF depressed DNA synthesis of the basal epithelial cells in the tip, and dorsal and ventral surfaces of the tongue (42-44% of control levels) only at 0700 h. This decrease in DNA synthesis was blocked by concomitant administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone (10 mg/kg); naloxone alone had no influence on cell replicative processes. Both OGF and its receptor, zeta (ζ), were detected in the stratified squamous epithelium of the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the tongue by immunocytochemistry. Photodensitometric measurements of immunocytochemical preparations revealed almost twofold more OGF and ζ-receptor immunoreactivity at 1700 h than at 0700 h. These results indicate that an endogenous opioid peptide and its receptor are present and govern cellular renewal processes in the tongue and regulate DNA synthesis in a circadian rhythm-dependent fashion.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology|
|Issue number||3 36-3|
|State||Published - 1994|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)