Previous studies suggest that hibernation may be regulated by internal opioids and that the putative “hibernation induction trigger” (HIT) may itself be an opioid. This study examined the effect of plasma albumin (known to bind HIT) on induced contractility of the guinea pig ileum muscle strip. Morphine (400 nM) depressed contractility and 100 nM naloxone restored it. Ten milligrams of lyophilized plasma albumin fractions from hibernating ground squirrels, woodchucks, black bears, and polar bears produced similar inhibition, with partial reversal by naloxone. Five hundredths mg of d-Ala2-d-Leu5-enkephalin (DADLE) also inhibited contractility and naloxone reversed it. Conclusions are that hibernating individuals of these species contain an HIT substance that is opioid in nature and summer animals do not; an endogenous opioid similar to leu-enkephalin may be the HIT compound or give rise to it.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Suppression of guinea pig ileum induced contractility by plasma albumin of hibernators|
|Series title||Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|