endorphin

/en dawr"fin/, n.
any of a group of peptides occurring in the brain and other tissues of vertebrates, and resembling opiates, that react with the brain's opiate receptors to raise the pain threshold.
[1970-75; end(ogenous) (m)orphine, with -ine resp. as -IN2]

* * *

Any of a group of proteins occurring in the brain and having pain-relieving properties typical of opium and related opiates.

Discovered in the 1970s, they include enkephalin, beta-endorphin, and dynorphin. Each is distributed in characteristic patterns throughout the nervous system. Endorphins are released in response to pain or sustained exertion (causing, e.g., the "runner's high"). They are also believed to have a role in appetite control, release of pituitary sex hormones, and shock. There is strong evidence that they are connected with "pleasure centres" in the brain, and they seem to be activated by acupuncture. Knowledge of their behaviour has implications for treating addictions and chronic pain.

* * *

      any of a group of opiate proteins with pain-relieving properties that are found naturally in the brain. The main substances identified as endorphins include the enkephalins, beta-endorphin, and dynorphin, which were discovered in the 1970s by Roger Guillemin (Guillemin, Roger Charles Louis) and other researchers. Endorphins are distributed in characteristic patterns throughout the nervous system, with beta-endorphin found almost entirely in the pituitary gland.

      Endorphins have been found to be clearly involved in the regulation of pain; even the analgesic effects of acupuncture treatments may be attributable to them. Such substances are also believed to have some relation to appetite control, the release of sex hormones through the pituitary, and the adverse effects of shock. There is strong evidence that endorphins are connected with “pleasure centres” in the brain. Knowledge about the behaviour of the endorphins and their receptors in the brain has implications for the treatment of opiate addictions and chronic pain disorders.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Endorphin — Endorphin …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Endorphin — ist eine Wortkreuzung aus „endogenes Morphin“, vom Körper selbst produziertes Opioid. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Entdeckungsgeschichte 2 Chemie 3 Physiologie 4 Wirkung, Rezeptoren …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • endorphin — 1975, from Fr. endorphine, from endogène endogenous, growing within (see ENDO (Cf. endo ) + GENUS (Cf. genus)) + (mo)rphine …   Etymology dictionary

  • endorphin — ► NOUN ▪ any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and causing an analgesic effect. ORIGIN blend of ENDOGENOUS(Cf. ↑E) and MORPHINE(Cf. ↑morphine) …   English terms dictionary

  • endorphin — [en dôr′fin] n. any of several peptides secreted in the brain that have a pain relieving effect like that of morphine …   English World dictionary

  • Endorphin — protein Name=proopiomelanocortin (adrenocorticotropin/ beta lipotropin/ alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone/ beta melanocyte stimulating hormone/ beta endorphin) caption= width= HGNCid=9201 Symbol=POMC AltSymbols= EntrezGene=5443 OMIM=176830… …   Wikipedia

  • Endorphin — One of the body s own painkillers, an opioid (morphine like) chemical produced by the body that serves to suppress pain. Endorphins are manufactured in the brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of the body. They are released in response to… …   Medical dictionary

  • endorphin — UK [enˈdɔː(r)fɪn] / US [enˈdɔrfɪn] noun [countable] Word forms endorphin : singular endorphin plural endorphins medical a type of hormone produced in the body that reduces pain, especially when you are injured or physically tired …   English dictionary

  • endorphin — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary endogenous + morphine Date: 1976 any of a group of endogenous peptides (as enkephalin) found especially in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some pharmacological… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • endorphin — noun /ɛnˈdɔːfɪn/ Any of a group of peptide hormones found in the brain that act as neurotransmitters and have properties similar to morphine …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.