Central β-endorphin release and recovery after exposure to nitrous oxide in rats

John R Zuniga, Karl K. Knigge, Shirley A. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


To explore the hypothesis that nitrous oxide stimulates the β-endorphin system in vivo, rats were exposed to nitrous oxide/oxygen at variable concentrations for one hour. β-Endorphin concentration at sites along the neuraxis functionally involved with analgesia was elevated in nitrous oxide-exposed animals. The increase in β-endorphin concentration was statistically significant at nitrous oxide concentrations of 60 and 80%. This elevation of β-endorphin levels depended on the concentration of nitrous oxide delivered rather than on the duration of exposure. With cessation of nitrous oxide anesthesia, β-endorphin concentration returned to control levels within 30 minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-723
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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