Single shot of morphine has long lasting effects on testosterone levels

Washington, Nov 04 (ANI): A new study found that a single injection of morphine to fight persistent pain in male rats is able to strongly reduce the hormone testosterone in the brain and plasma.

The study, led by Anna Maria Aloisi, of the Department of Physiology - Section of Neuroscience and Applied Physiology at the University of Siena, Italy, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, University of Siena, and the Human Health Foundation in Spoleto, Italy, showed that opioids had "long lasting genomic effects in body areas which contribute to strong central and peripheral testosterone levels" including the brain, the liver and the testis.

The study showed increases in aromatase, an enzyme that is responsible for a key step in the biosynthesis of estrogen. The findings are particularly important since testosterone is the main substrate of aromatase, which is involved in the formation of estradiol. Both testosterone and estradiol are important hormones, engaged in cognitive functions as well as in mood, motor control and in many other functions, such as bone structure remodeling.

"The research findings are very relevant to the management of patients with chronic pain," said Marco Pappagallo, professor and director of pain research and development, Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.

The study has been published in Molecular Pain. (ANI)

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