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Either of two closely related pentapeptides having opiate qualities and occurring in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body.

[Greek enkephalos, in the head (en-, in; see en in Indo-European roots + kephalē, head; see ghebh-el- in Indo-European roots) + -in.]


(ɛnˈkɛfəlɪn) or




(ɛnˈsɛfəlɪn) or


(Biochemistry) a chemical occurring in the brain, having effects similar to those of morphine. See also endorphin


(ɛnˈkɛf ə lɪn)

either of two polypeptides that bind to morphine receptors in the central nervous system and have opioid properties of relatively short duration. Compare endorphin.
[1970–75; < Greek enképhal(os) encephalon + -in1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.enkephalin - an endorphin having opiate qualities that occurs in the brain and spinal cord and elsewhere
endorphin - a neurochemical occurring naturally in the brain and having analgesic properties
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References in periodicals archive ?
This increase in enkephalin, together with previous work done by this research group which showed that an opioid receptor blocker was less effective at reducing fat and sugar intake in the pups of the junk-food fed mothers, provides evidence for the first time that the opioid signalling pathway is less sensitive in junk-food exposed offspring.
Enkephalin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone and substance P immunoreactive azonal innervation of the ventrolateral dendritic bundle in the cat sacral spinal cord: an ultrastructural study.
The researchers also found that enkephalin, the natural drug-like chemical produced in that same brain region, surged when rats began to eat the candy-coated morsels, too.
A natural brain chemical called enkephalin surged as rats began to eat M&M chocolate sweets.
Among the neurotransmitters that affect the release of gonadal secretions are endogenous opioid peptides like enkephalin, dynorphin, beta endorphins etc.
Thus the diencephalic endorphin and mesencephalic enkephalin neurons stimulate the serotonin neurons at the bulbus (28-30) The serotoninergic neurons at the dorsal horn of the spinal cord stimulate the intermediate neurons at the dorsal horn.
Diamyd Medical (STO:DIAMB) (Pink Sheets:DMYDY) on Tuesday announced that its Phase II study, in which cancer pain is treated with the drug candidate NP2 Enkephalin, has recruited its last participant.
Parris WG, Tanzer FS, Fridland GH, et al: Effects of orthodontic force on methionine enkephalin and substance P concentrations in human pulpal tissue.
Here, it triggers cells to release the natural painkiller, enkephalin, to alleviate pain for four to six weeks.
Diamyd Medical's most advanced project in the NTDDS portfolio is NP2 Enkephalin against cancer pain.
Fink and his colleagues demonstrated that an HSV vector that produces the opioid peptide enkephalin reduces pain-related behavior in animal models of inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, and pain caused by cancer (Pain Medicine 2009;10:1325-30).