J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1984 Dec;59(6):1138-42.

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Serotoninergic agonists increase plasma levels of beta-endorphin and beta-lipotropin in humans.

Petraglia F, Facchinetti F, Martignoni E, Nappi G, Volpe A, Genazzani AR.

A pharmacological approach was used to investigate the serotoninergic control of plasma levels on beta-endorphin (beta-EP) and beta-lipotropin (beta-LPH) in humans. Acute administration of L5-OH-triptophan, the physiologic precursor of serotonin (SE), induced a significant rise in plasma beta-EP and beta-LPH levels both when injected iv (20 and 40 mg) (four normal men) and when administered orally (200 and 400 mg) (seven normal men) (P less than 0.01 vs. placebo). The iv route of administration induced a prompt (mean peak values after 150 min) dose-dependent increase in beta-EP and beta-LPH levels. The responses evoked by oral administration (mean peak values after 130 and 240 min) were not dose dependent. Fluoxetine (15 and 30 mg orally) a blocker of SE reuptake, induced a significant dose-related rise in plasma beta-EP and beta-LPH levels in a group of seven normal men (P less than 0.01) (mean peak values after 150 min). Pretreatment with methysergide, a SE receptor antagonist (3 X 2.8 mg orally, five men), did not induce any significant changes in plasma beta-EP and beta-LPH levels, but blocked the increase in the two hormones evoked by L5-OH-triptophan (40 mg iv). Plasma cortisol levels changed similarly to those of beta-EP and beta-LPH in all the experiments, indicating that putative serotoninergic drugs exert a positive role on the various corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated secretions.

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