Characterization of opioid peptides in guinea-pig heart and skin

Life Sci. 1983;33 Suppl 1:711-4. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(83)90601-x.


Using reverse phase HPLC separations, and assay of eluate fractions in the mouse vas deferens, extracts of heart and skin from guinea-pigs were shown to contain several species of opioid-active material in low amounts (3-20 pmol/g as [Met5]enkephalin). Immunohistochemical studies revealed in the heart a small number of enkephalin-immunoreactive nerve fibres, particularly in cardiac ganglia and some small cells (paraganglionic cells, APUD cells). In the skin, enkephalin-immunoreactivity was confined to Merkel cells. Cardiac and cutaneous opioid peptides may modulate peripheral cardiovascular and sensory functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Enkephalins / analysis*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Heart Conduction System / analysis
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Myocardium / analysis*
  • Skin / analysis*


  • Enkephalins