Local increases of subcutaneous β-endorphin immunoactivity at the site of thermal injury

M. Soledad Cepeda, Andrzej W. Lipkowski, Agnes Langlade, Patricia F. Osgood, H. Paul Ehrlich, Kenneth Hargreaves, Stanislaw K. Szyfelbein, Daniel B. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To examine interactions between exogenous opioid analgesia and endogenous opioid generation at a site of burn-induced tissue injury, we measured β-endorphin (BE) and corticosterone (C) in aliquots of plasma and wound fluid withdrawn from subcutaneous wire mesh chambers beneath the site of a 3-5% surface area burn. After brief inhalational anesthesia at the time of thermal injury, rats received morphine (4 mg/kg, single dose), fentanyl (0.02 mg/kg hourly for 4 h), or no opioid. Systemic hormone responses and behavioral changes were minimal as expected for the minimal percentage burn. In all three groups intrachamber BE and C rose above baseline at 1, 2 and 4 h postburn, then returned to baseline at 24 h. Systemic opioid treatment produced analgesia (by tail flick latency testing) but did not reduce intrachamber hormone responses. Thus local BE and C responses at the site of thermal injury are regulated differently from systemic pituitary-adrenal responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Burn
  • Endorphin
  • Opioid
  • Stress response
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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