Ibuprofen elevates immunoreactive β-endorphin levels in humans during surgical stress

Emanuel Troullos, Kenneth M. Hargreaves, Raymond A. Dionne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Release of β-endorphin is modulated by physiologic stress and a variety of hormonal and pharmacologic factors. Prostaglandin E2 inhibits release of β-endorphin and corticotropin from pituitary corticotroph cells, suggesting that suppression of prostaglandin levels should increase β-endorphin release. This hypothesis was tested by administration of 600 mg ibuprofen before surgical stress in humans in comparison to placebo and methylprednisolone. Plasma samples were analyzed for immunoreactive β-endorphin with concurrent measurement of pain and apprehension. Levels of immunoreactive β-endorphin increased during surgery in the placebo group but were significantly greater in the group of patients pretreated with ibuprofen. Methylprednisolone suppressed intraoperative immunoreactive β-endorphin, compared with both placebo and ibuprofen. Parallel in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug potentiation of endorphin release is mediated at the level of the pituitary corticotroph cell. These results show that ibuprofen enhances pituitary release of β-endorphin by corticotroph cells in response to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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