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Puberty onset involves increased gonadotrophin-release (GnRH) release as a result of decreased sensitivity to oestrogen (E2 )-negative feedback. Because GnRH neurones lack E2 receptor α, this pathway must contain interneurones. One likely candidate is KNDy neurones (kisspeptin, neurokinin B, dynorphin). The overarching hypothesis of the present study was that the prepubertal hiatus in luteinising hormone (LH) release involves reduced kisspeptin and/or heightened dynorphin input. We first tested the specific hypothesis that E2 would reduce kisspeptin-immunopositive cell numbers and increase dynorphin-immunopositive cell numbers. We found that kisspeptin cell numbers were higher in ovariectomised (OVX) lambs than OVX lambs treated with E2 (OVX+ E2 ) or those left ovary-intact. Very few arcuate dynorphin cells were identified in any group. Next, we hypothesised that central blockade of κ-opioid receptor (KOR) would increase LH secretion at a prepubertal (6 months) but not postpubertal (10 months) age. Luteinising hormone pulse frequency and mean LH increased during infusion of a KOR antagonist, norbinaltorphimine, in OVX + E2 lambs at the prepubertal age but not in the same lambs at the postpubertal age. We next hypothesised that E2 would increase KOR expression in GnRH neurones or alter synaptic input to KNDy neurones in prepubertal ewes. Oestrogen treatment decreased the percentage of GnRH neurones coexpressing KOR (approximately 68%) compared to OVX alone (approximately 78%). No significant differences in synaptic contacts per cell between OVX and OVX + E2 groups were observed. Although these initial data are consistent with dynorphin inhibiting pulsatile LH release prepubertally, additional work will be necessary to define the source and mechanisms of this inhibition.
This publication used a dynorphin antibody (H-021-03) from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals for IHC staining.
Lopez JA, Bedenbaugh MN, Mccosh RB, et al. J Neuroendocrinol. 2016;28(12)

Previous studies have focused on strategies for pain relief based on the peripheral opioid system. However, little is known with regard to the profile of the peripheral opioid system in long-lasting inflammatory pain. In the current study, the intrinsic changes of the peripheral opioids were investigated in long-lasting inflammatory pain. A rat model of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced inflammatory pain was established. Paw swelling and thermal hyperalgesia (paw withdrawal latency, PWL) were analyzed until day 18 after the CFA injection. The levels of peripheral opioids and their upstream inducers, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and interleukin (IL)-1β, were measured, and validation experiments were performed using opioid receptor antagonists. Long-lasting inflammatory pain was successfully induced in the rats, as shown by the significantly increased paw swelling and decreased PWLs. On day 18 after the CFA injection, the IL-1β levels were significantly elevated, while CRF remained at a normal level in the paw inflammatory tissue. In addition, met-enkephalin (Met-ENK) and dynorphin A (DYN A) levels were significantly increased, while the β-endorphin level remained normal. Local intraplantar administration of δ- and κ-opioid receptor antagonists resulted in more substantial pain, but did not significantly affect the PWLs of the normal control rats. Therefore, the results indicated that the increased levels of local Met-ENK and DYN A in CFA-induced long-lasting inflammatory pain may be involved in peripheral intrinsic analgesia.
This publication used dynorphin A RIA Kit (RK-021-03) from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals.
YONG-LIANG JIANG, XIAO-FEN HE, YA-FANG SHEN, et al., Exp Ther Med. 2015 Jun; 9(6): 2344–2348.

Anhedonia is a core symptom of clinical depression. Two brain neuropeptides that have been implicated in anhedonia symptomology in preclinical depression models are dynorphin and orexin; which are concentrated along lateral hypothalamic dopamine reward pathways. These affect regulating neuropeptides modulate each other's function, implicating an interactive dysfunction between them in anhedonia symptomology. But whether their influences are modified or imbalanced within the hypothalamus or dopamine system in anhedonic preclinical depression models is not yet clear. We used radioimmunoassay to determine this in the rat social defeat model of depression; at a time that anhedonic sexual disinterest was expressed. In tissue samples of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens, basal dynorphin levels were similar to normal animals. But orexin was reduced in the VTA and mPFC. Also, dynorphin and orexin were both diminished in the hypothalamus which is noteworthy since nearly all hypothalamic orexin cells co-express dynorphin. These findings suggest that orexin and dynorphin function may be imbalanced between the hypothalamus and mesocorticaldopaminergic brain regions in depression.
This publication used dynorphin A RIA Kit (RK-021-03) from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals.
Nocjar C, Zhang J, Feng P, Panksepp J. Neuroscience. 2012;218:138-53.

Kisspeptin is a potent stimulator of GnRH secretion that has been implicated in the feedback actions of ovarian steroids. In ewes, the majority of hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons are found in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), with a smaller population located in the preoptic area. Most arcuate kisspeptin neurons express estrogen receptor-alpha, as do a set of arcuate neurons that contain both dynorphin and neurokinin B (NKB), suggesting that all three neuropeptides are colocalized in the same cells. In this study we tested this hypothesis using dual immunocytochemistry and also determined if kisspeptin neurons contain MSH or agouti-related peptide. To assess colocalization of kisspeptin and dynorphin, we used paraformaldehyde-fixed tissue from estrogen-treated ovariectomized ewes in the breeding season (n = 5). Almost all ARC, but no preoptic area, kisspeptin neurons contained dynorphin. Similarly, almost all ARC dynorphin neurons contained kisspeptin. In experiment 2 we examined colocalization of kisspeptin and NKB in picric-acid fixed tissue collected from ovary intact ewes (n = 9). Over three quarters of ARC kisspeptin neurons also expressed NKB, and a similar percentage of NKB neurons contained kisspeptin. In contrast, no kisspeptin neurons stained for MSH or agouti-related peptide. These data demonstrate that, in the ewe, a high percentage of ARC kisspeptin neurons also produce dynorphin and NKB, and we propose that a single subpopulation of ARC neurons contains all three neuropeptides. Because virtually all of these neurons express estrogen and progesterone re-ceptors, they are likely to relay the feedback effects of these steroids to GnRH neurons to regulate reproductive function.
This publication used a dynorphin antibody (H-021-03) from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals for IHC staining.
Goodman RL, Lehman MN, Smith JT et al., Endocrinology. 2007 Dec;148(12):5752-60. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

The hallmark of Parkinson's disease is the death of nigral dopaminergic neurons, and inflammation in the brain has been increasingly associated with the pathogenesis of this neurological disorder. Dynorphins are among the major opioid peptides in the striato-nigral pathway and are important in regulating dopaminergic neuronal activities. However, it is not clear whether dynorphins play a role in the survival of nigral dopaminergic neurons. We have recently demonstrated that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activates the brain immune cells microglia, in vitro and in vivo, to release neurotoxic factors to degenerate dopaminergic neurons. The purpose of this study was to explore the neuroprotective effect of dynorphins in the inflammation-mediated degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in rat midbrain neuron-glia cultures. LPS-induced neurotoxicity was significantly reduced by treatment with ultra low concentrations (10(-13)--10(-15) M) of the kappa-opioid receptor agonist dynorphin A (1-17) or the receptor binding ineffective [des-Tyr(1)] dynorphin A (2--17), but not by U50488, a synthetic kappa-receptor agonist. The glia-mediated neuroprotective effect of dynorphins was further supported by the finding that femtomolar concentrationsof dynorphins did not prevent the killing of dopaminergic neurons by 6-hydroxydopamine. However, ultra low concentrations of dynorphinsinhibited LPS-induced production of superoxide. These results suggest a glia-mediated and conventional opioid receptor-unrelated mechanism of action for the neuroprotective effect of ultra low concentrations of dynorphins. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of action should further define the roles of dynorphins in the regulation of dopaminergic neurons and help devise novel strategies to combat neurodegenerative diseases.
This publication used dynorphin A peptides from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals.
Liu B, Qin L, Yang SN, Wilson BC, Liu Y, Hong JS. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2001;298(3):1133-41.

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