Centrally applied NPY mimics immunoactivation induced by non-analgesic doses of met-enkephalin

Stephan Von Hörsten, Heike Nave, Jan Ballof, Fabian Helfritz, Dirk Meyer, Reinhold E. Schmidt, Michael Stalp, Natalie G. Exton, Michael S. Exton, Rainer H. Straub, Jelena Radulovic, Reinhard Pabst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and endogenous opioids (EOPs) such as methionine- enkephalin (Met-enk) regulate similar physiological responses, but it is not known whether nociceptive and immune responses also show analogy after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) application. Dose-response studies show that Met-enk stimulates the blood granulocyte and splenic natural killer (NK) cell function of Lewis rats at a low dose (102 ng/kg, i.c.v.), whereas a high dose (105 ng/kg) causes suppression of innate immune functions associated with analgesia in the hot-plate test. At 15 min, 1 h and 24 h after i.c.v, application, both Met-enk (102 ng/kg) and NPY (1 ng/kg) produced similar effects: An initial suppression of innate immune function was followed by a long lasting stimulatory action on cell functions and serum interleukin-6 (sIL-6) levels. Thus, central NPY application resembles Met-enk-induced immunostimulation at doses not affecting nociception, suggesting an involvement of both peptides in shaping stress-induced immunomodulation of the non-analgetic form, possibly via activation of a common immunomodulatory effector mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3881-3885
Number of pages5
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Endogenous opioids
  • Granulocyte chemiluminescence
  • Hot-plate test
  • Interleukin-6
  • Methionine-enkephalin
  • NK cell cytotoxicity
  • Neuroimmunomodulation
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Nociception
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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