Endotoxin Shock: Prevented by Naloxone in Intact but Not Hypophysectomized Rats

S. D. Davis, W. J. McDonald, J. W. Kendall, D. M. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies established that naloxone reverses hypotension in endotoxin, hemorrhagic, and spinal shock. We studied endotoxin shock in hypophysectomized (Hx) rats, which have little circulating β-endorphin. Hx or intact rats received surgically implanted jugular catheters for drug injection and aortic catheters for arterial blood pressure (MAP) recording. On the second day after implantation, rats were pretreated with either naloxone or saline. Two minutes later each rat received endotoxin. Following endotoxin, all rats showed a brief biphasic hypertensive-hypotensive response followed by stabilization of MAP near baseline. Within 20 min, all Hx rats, regardless of pretreatment, and the saline-treated intact rats, showed progressive hypotension (P < 0.005). Only the naloxone-pretreated intact rats maintained a stable MAP. Plasma endorphin measured at 20 min was undetectable in Hx rats in contrast to intact rats (P < 0.001); plasma corticosterone levels were likewise suppressed in the Hx rats (P < 0.01). Thus (1) naloxone protected only the rats with an intact pituitary-adrenal-sympathetic system, and (2) pituitary endorphin is not required to generate endotoxin shock in hypophysectomized rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-385
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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