Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Dominic Valentino


A literature review showed that since the discovery of the endogenous opioid peptide, Beta-endorphin, and the fact that it is secreted along with ACTH as part of the stress response, much investigation has been directed toward determination of the role of this substance in autoanalgesia which is known to result from a variety of stressors. ACTH (and presumably, Beta-endorphin) are known to be secreted in very high amounts following stress in 24-hour adrenalectominzed. The present study, therefore, predicted that cold water swim (CWS) stress would induce analgesia, as measured by the tail-withdrawal analgesia test, in adrenalectomized and control rats, 24 hours and 120 hours after the CWS stress occurred. A 3X3X4 analysis of variance with four repeated measures indicated that this hypothesis was not supported, although in general, stressed animals exhibited significantly longer tail-withdrawal latencies immediately after stress than stressed animals receiving naltrexone and non-stressed animals. It was concluded that further investigation is necessary in order to elucidate the physiological basis of autoanalgesia, as well as the biological role of Beta-endorphin in response to stress.



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