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 neurotransmitters and bind to certain neuron receptors (the same ones that bind opiate medicines). Endorphins act as analgesics (diminishing the perception of pain) and as sedatives. Chemically, endorphins are peptides (amino acid chains that are shorter than proteins) and they are rapidly inactivated by enzymes called peptidases.

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en·dor·phin en-'dȯr-fən n any of a group of endogenous peptides (as enkephalin and dynorphin) found esp. in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some of the same pharmacological effects (as pain relief) as those of opiates specif beta-endorphin

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one of a group of chemical compounds, similar to the encephalin, that occur naturally in the brain and have pain-relieving properties similar to those of the opiates. They are also responsible for sensations of pleasure. The endorphins are derived from a substance found in the pituitary gland known as beta-lipotrophin; they are thought to be concerned with controlling the activity of the endocrine glands.

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en·dor·phin (en-dorґfin) (enґdor-fin) [endogenous + morphine] any of three neuropeptides, amino acid residues of β-lipotropin; they bind to opioid receptors in the brain and have potent analgesic activity. β-Endorphin is the C-terminal 30–amino acid residue and is found in the adenohypophysis, hypothalamus, and other sites in the brain; one function appears to be mediation of pain perception. α-Endorphin and γ-endorphin are the N-terminal 16 and 17 amino acid residues, respectively. See also enkephalin and dynorphin.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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 — /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… …   Universalium

  • 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

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