Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to endorphins: dopamine, serotonin
Opioid peptides originally isolated from the brain but now found in many parts of the body; in the nervous system, endorphins bind to the same receptors that bind exogenous opiates. A variety of endorphins (for example, α, β, and γ) that vary not only in their physical and chemical properties but also in physiologic action have been isolated.
See also: enkephalins.
See also: enkephalins.
[fr. endogenous morphine]
endorphinsA number of morphine-like peptide substances naturally produced in the body and for which morphine receptors exist in the brain. Many of these active substances have been found, all with the same opioid core of five amino acids. They are neurotransmitters and have a wide range of functions. They help to regulate heart action, general hormone function, the mechanisms of shock from blood loss and the perception of pain, and are probably involved in controlling mood, emotion and motivation. They are thought to be produced under various circumstances in which acute relief of pain or mental distress is required. At least some of the endorphins are produced by the PITUITARY gland as part of the precursor of the ACTH molecule. Endorphins are fragments cleaved from the beta-lipotropin component of proopiomelanocortin (POMC). The term derives from the phrase ‘endogenous morphines’.
Pain-killing substances produced in the human body and released by stress or trauma. Some researchers think that people who mutilate themselves are trying to trigger the release of endorphins.
endorphinsgroup of opioid peptides made in nerve cells in the brain and released from their axons as neurotransmitters or neurohormones, which bind to and activate opioid receptors of other cells (where opioid drugs also act). The first to be identified in brain tissue (1970s) were named enkephalins; many more were later identified. They are released in strenuous exercise and in stressful or painful situations. Subgroups have varied and widespread actions, diminishing the sensation of pain, inducing euphoria (e.g. 'runner's high') and interacting with the immune system.
endorphinsnaturally occurring opioids liberated within brain, spinal cord and peripheral tissues during exercise; interact with tissue opiate receptors, inducing pain reduction, euphoria and general well-being
n.pl polypeptides produced in the body that bind the neuroreceptors in brain and act on the central and peripheral nervous system to alleviate pain.
Opioid peptides originally isolated from the brain but now found in many parts of the body.
n.pl substances produced in the brain and pituitary gland that reduce pain sensations by binding to receptors in the nervous system. The three endorphins, called alpha-, beta-, and gamma-endorphin, are subsequences of the 91-amino-acid peptide hormone, beta-lipotropin.