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October 1981

Effect of (des-Tyr1)-γ-endorphin on Prolactin Secretion

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Pritzker School of Medicine The University of Chicago 950 E 59th St Chicago, IL 60637

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(10):1183. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780350117014

To the Editor.—  Verhoeven and colleagues (Archives 1979;36:294-298) have reported that (des-Tyr1)-γ-endorphin (DTγE; β-lipotropin62-77) has antipsychotic properties in some schizophrenic patients, but this was not replicated in two recent studies.1.2 Animal experiments have suggested that DTγE may have direct or indirect neuroleptic properties. Neuroleptics are potent stimulants of prolactin secretion in the rat; most neuroleptics, with the exception of clozapine and melperone, are also potent stimulants of prolactin secretion at therapeutic dosages in man.3 (Des-Tyr1)-γ-endorphin has been identified in the pituitary of man and the rat.4 We were interested in determining the effect of DTγE on prolactin secretion in man and laboratory rats.

Subjects and Methods.—  We have now treated four male schizophrenic patients (diagnosis by Research Diagnostic Criteria) with intramuscular injections of DTγE in dosages of 1 to 10 mg/day. All were admitted because of a recent exacerbation of their psychoses. Dosages greater