Do endogenous opioids mediate the relationship between blood pressure and pain sensitivity in normotensives?

McCubbin JA, Bruehl S
Pain. 1994 57 (1): 63-7

PMID: 8065798 · DOI:10.1016/0304-3959(94)90108-2

Elevated resting blood pressure is associated with decreased pain sensitivity in both animals and humans. Recent evidence suggests that this relationship may be mediated by endogenous opioid peptides in hypertensives, but the precise mechanism has not been investigated in normotensives. We examined the effect of opioid receptor blockade with naloxone on the relationship between resting blood pressure and pain sensitivity in normotensive humans. Sixteen young adults were given cold pressor and handgrip challenges after treatment with either naloxone or saline in a placebo-controlled, within-subject design. Multiple regression procedures indicated that resting systolic blood pressure was a significant predictor of cold pain ratings even after the effects of naloxone were statistically controlled. The interaction between systolic blood pressure and opioid blockade was non-significant. These data suggest that the relationship between resting blood pressure and pain sensitivity in normotensive humans is mediated, at least in part, by non-opioid mechanisms.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adolescent Adult Blood Pressure Cold Temperature Endorphins Humans Male Naloxone Pain Pain Measurement Regression Analysis Stress, Psychological

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