That nuclear-powered rocket of neuropharmacology known as endorphin research continues to threaten a meltdown situation. New findings have materialized continuously throughout the six years since the peptides were first identified, and for the decade after the stereospecific ligand binding sites for opiates in brain membranes were characterized in vitro [see (1-4) for early reviews]. The original and review material on this general topic has become so voluminous that no general survey is possible within the limited space of an Annual Reviews chapter. Therefore, the present coverage highÂ lights some of the major questions that have been answered as the endorÂ phin vehicle went through lift-off, and poses some of the new questions that emerged during the short, accelerating thrust towards a permanent orbit in the firmament of neurotransmitters. Several recent monographs and reviews are cited for reference to most "older" data, which in this area now means pre-1978. These questions are addressed: 1. how many endorphins are there and how are they related metabolically, structurally, or functionally; 2. how do the various means of detecting opiate receptors relate to the morph<?logy of the peptide neural circuits that have been mapped; 3. what are the cellular actions of the
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology – Annual Reviews
Published: Apr 1, 1983
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