The human placental villous tissue contains components of the cholinergic system and opioid receptors of the kappa type. In vitro stimulation of the villous tissue releases acetylcholine in organ baths. A selective kappa agonist, ethylketocyclazocine, inhibits the release of acetylcholine. This inhibition is reversed by the antagonist Mr 2266. The antagonist alone stimulates the release of acetylcholine 18-fold over control. These results demonstrate an interaction between the placental opioid receptors and the cholinergic system in a non-neural tissue. The modulation of acetylcholine release by endogenous opioid peptides could be one of the in vivo functions of placental opioid receptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)