The central effect of methionine-enkephalin on NK cell activity

Academic Article


  • The central effect of opioid peptide on natural killer (NK) cell activity in BALB/c mice was investigated. Injection of methionine-enkephalin (Met-Enk), 0.02 μg/mouse or 1 μg/kg, directly into the cisterna magna (CM) of the brain, resulted in a significant enhancement of NK cell activity. This enhancement was blocked by opiate antagonists, naltrexone and quaternary naltrexone. The same dose of Met-Enk had no effect on NK cell activity when given to the mouse intraperitoneally or intraveneously. Moreover, des-tyrosine-methionine-enkephalin injected into the CM at 1 μg/kg, had no effect on NK cell activity. The results indicate that activation of an opioid-mediated pathway in the central nervous system is capable of activating the pathways that stimulate the NK cell response in the periphery. © 1992.
  • Published In

  • Brain Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hsueh CM; Hiramoto RN; Ghanta VK
  • Start Page

  • 142
  • End Page

  • 148
  • Volume

  • 578
  • Issue

  • 1-2