Effect of clonidine on the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones in heroin addicts and normal volunteers

Francesca Brambilla, Mario Lampertico, Alberto E. Panerai, Laura Sali, Francesco Salerno, Eugenio E. Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Neuroendocrine effects of intravenous injections of clonidine, 0.15 mg, were investigated in 13 heroin addicts and 14 normal control subjects. The study was designed to determine whether continuous opiate administration leads to the development of hypersensitive α2-adrenergic receptors. The peak increments in levels of plasma growth hormone (GH) and β-endorphin induced by clonidine did not differ between heroin addicts and normal control subjects. At no time interval could the clonidine-induced rise in GH levels in addicts be differentiated from that induced by placebo. Clonidine failed to alter plasma prolactin, gonadotropin, or thyrotropin levels in either heroin addicts or controls. Since clonidine's neuroendocrine effects are reportedly due to the activation of postsynaptic α2-adrenoceptors, it appears that (1) continuous opiate use does not lead to the development of hypersensitive α2-adrenergic receptors involved in neuroendocrine mechanisms and (2) brain norepinephrine does not play a role in the regulation of tonic prolactin, gonadotropin, and thyrotropin secretion in man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1984

Keywords

  • clonidine
  • growth hormone
  • Heroin addicts
  • β-endorphin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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    Brambilla, F., Lampertico, M., Panerai, A. E., Sali, L., Salerno, F., & Müller, E. E. (1984). Effect of clonidine on the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones in heroin addicts and normal volunteers. Psychiatry Research, 13(4), 295-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-1781(84)90077-5