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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɛnˈkɛfəlɪn) or




(ɛnˈsɛfəlɪn) or


(Biochemistry) a chemical occurring in the brain, having effects similar to those of morphine. See also endorphin
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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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Many immunohistochemical markers are used in diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors: enzymes (neuron specific enolase, NSE); proteins stored in the secretory granules (chromogranin A and HISL- 19 protein); resident proteins of the presynaptic vesicles; proteins of the cytoskeleton (neurofilament); catecholamines and indolamines (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonine); neuropeptides (enkephaline, VIP, corticotropine); molecules with unknown functions (PGP 9.5, myelin associated glycoprotein Leu-7).
Met-enkephalin is one of the simplest endogenous opioid peptides within the enkephaline family.
Thus, as is shown in the previous research reports, trimebutine maleate pharmacological mechanisms mainly reflected in regulating the hypo- and hypermotility of the broad gastrointestinal tract with a dual action depending on the enkephaline receptor subtype [40].