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D-PHENYLALANINE AND OTHER ENKEPHALINASE INHIBITORS AS PHARMACOLOGICAL AGENTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOME IMPORTANT THERAPEUTIC APPLICATION

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A number of compounds have been shown to inhibit the degradation of enkephalins. As expected, these compounds produce naloxone reversible analgesia and potentiate the analgesia produced by enkephalins and by acupuncture. One of these, D-phenylalanine, is also anti-infiammatory. D-phenylalanine has proven to be beneficial in many human patients with chronic, intractable pain. It is proposed the enkephalinase inhibitors may be effective in a number of human “endorphin deficiency diseases" such as depression, schizophrenia, convulsive disorders and arthritis. Such compounds may alleviate other conditions associated with decreased endorphin levels such as opiate withdrawal symptoms.
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Keywords: D-phenylalanine; analgesia; anti-inflammatory agent; arthritis; depression; endorphin deficiency disease; endorphins; enkephalinase inhibitors; enkephalins; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, University of Health Sciences, The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, Illinois 60064

Publication date: 01 January 1982

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