Interactions of thyrotropin releasing hormone, its metabolites and analogues with endogenous and exogenous opiates

Gen Pharmacol. 1983;14(6):565-70. doi: 10.1016/0306-3623(83)90150-7.


The interactions of thyrotropin releasing hormone, its metabolites and synthetic analogues with acute and chronic effects of endogenous and exogenous opiates have been described. The endogenous and exogenous opiates are represented by beta-endorphin and morphine, respectively. The pharmacological effects of opiates include analgesia, temperature effects, respiratory depression, catalepsy, locomotor activity, opiate receptor binding, tolerance, and physical dependence. Thyrotropin releasing hormone and related compounds appear to (a) antagonize hypothermia, respiratory depression, locomotor depression and catalepsy but not the analgesia induced by opiates, (b) inhibit the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect but not to the hypothermic effect of opiates, (c) inhibit the development of physical dependence on opiates as evidenced by the inhibition of development of certain withdrawal symptoms, and (d) suppress the abstinence syndrome in opiate dependent rodents. Thyrotropin releasing hormone does not interact with the opiate receptors in the brain. Potential therapeutic applications of thyrotropin releasing hormone and its synthetic analogues in counteracting some of the undesirable effects of opiates are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Endorphins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Narcotics / pharmacology*
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Endorphins
  • Narcotics
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone