Opioids modulate interleukin-1 production and secretion by bone-marrow macrophages

Ron N. Apte, Scott K. Durum, Joost J. Oppenheim

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67 Scopus citations


In the present study, we have assessed the effect of opioids (endorphins, enkephalins and neoendorphins) on production of IL-1 activity by bone-marrow-derived macrophages. None of the neuropeptides induced IL-1 production by itself. However, some of the opioids potentiated IL-1 production and release in macrophages concomitantly stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or silica. LPS induced predominantly intracellular IL-1 activity, whereas most of the silica-induced IL-1 was released extracellularly. β-Endorphin, leucin-enkephalin (leu-enkephalin) and β-neoendorphin all potentiated both intracellular and extracellular release of IL 1 induced by either LPS or silica. In contrast, α-endorphin, methionine-enkephalin (metenkephalin) and α-neoendorphin did not influence IL-1 production or release. The potentiating effects of β-endorphin on LPS-induced IL-1 production/secretion were inhibited by naloxone, pointing to an involvement of opioid receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990


  • Bone marrow
  • Interleukin-1
  • Macrophage
  • Opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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