Using immunocytochemical procedures and RIA tests, the presence of immunoreactive ACTH and beta-endorphin molecules in the basophils and neutrophils of urodelan amphibians (Salamandra s. salamandra, Triturus c. carnifex, Speleomantes imperialis) has been established. Moreover, it was observed that not only neutrophils but also basophils have phagocytic activity. The findings reported suggest that: 1) a relationship exists between the immune and neuroendocrine systems, and 2) the opioid-like molecules play a physiological role in the process of phagocytosis. Indeed, ACTH increases the phagocytic activity.
Immunocytochemical evidence for ACTH- and beta-endorphin-like molecules in phagocytic blood cells of urodelan amphibians / Ottaviani, Enzo; P., Trevisan; Pederzoli, Aurora. - In: PEPTIDES. - ISSN 0196-9781. - STAMPA. - 13:(1992), pp. 227-231.