Behavior and Peptides

CorinnaT corinnat at
Wed Aug 24 16:30:08 EST 1994

How can food derived pepdides modulate behavior?

-Maybe via interaction with morphine receptors in the GI-tract
(gastrointestinal tract), as has been shown with bovine-casein derived
beta-casomorphines. Like Morphine they slow down intestine motility of the
guinea-pig ileum and of the human being - making it a potent
anti-diarrhetic. Receptor binding can be inhibited by administration of
Naloxone, an opiate antagonist.
Besides using beta-casomorphines as anti-diarrhetics could they act on the
brain (cross the BBB = blood brain barrier) and therefore alter behavior?
Are there ways in which peptides could pass the GI-tract and enter the
brain ?

-Can food derived peptides act as neurotransmitters or precursors of
If they can, which are the barriers they have to overcome and how could
they be passed?
Drawing an analogy to molecular cell biology: cells tend to repress genes
for certain amino acids if they are provided in the growth medium (i.e.
Tryptophane in e.coli). Would human cells/neurons do the same?

-Olfactory bulbs
There seems to be an shortcut between smell, memory and reaction/behavior.

Could one of the many answers be the lack of a BBB in the area of the

Please send comments, annotations ....

Internet adress: 
corinna.taylor at
graduate student in Giessen, Germany; summer session student at UC
Berkeley, USA.

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