Development of methionine-enkephalin in microdissected areas of the rabbit brain

J. L. Gingras-Leatherman, M. C. McNamara, J. S. Hong, E. E. Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Microdissected areas of the rabbit brain were isolated at prenatal day E-29, postnatal days P-3, 7, 14, 21, 2 months and adults. Methionine-enkephalin (ME) was assayed by RIA and ME concentration [ME] was expressed relative to the protein content of the extracted brain tissues. In brain nuclei with important roles in respiratory control [ME] was higher in prenatal and early postnatal life than in adults. In contrast, the prenatal and early postnatal [ME] levels in other nuclei were lower than or equal to adult values. These data suggest an important and changing role for ME in respiratory control throughout development. Early high [ME] levels within brainstem respiratory control nuclei may contribute to the newborn's increased susceptibility to respiratory depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • adult
  • brainstem
  • neuropeptides
  • neurotransmitters
  • newborn
  • opiates
  • respiratory center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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