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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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
When we cannot generate adequate amounts of our own enkephalin or other endorphins, we seek external help to restore our sense of well-being, however briefly, from:
Dopamine differentially regulates dynorphin, substance P, and enkephalin expression in striatal neurons: in situ hybridization histochemical analysis.
It is well established that the opioidergic neuropeptides dynorphin and enkephalin are also involved in the striatal control of motor and behavioral function [8].
The mass spectrometer was calibrated with NaI solution at a final concentration of 2 [micro]g/[micro]L in water/isopropanol (50/50) and was tuned with leucine enkephalin solution (LE, 1ng/[micro]L) in water/acetonitrile (50/50) with 0.1% formic acid.
Vanderhaeghen, "Striatal restricted adenosine A2 receptor (RDC8) is expressed by enkephalin but not by substance P neurons: an in situ hybridization histochemistry study," Journal of Neurochemistry, vol.
This receptor can bind to several different endogenous ligands, such as b-endorphin, enkephalin, and exogenous opioids.
"Neural adaptations include changes in dopamine and opioid receptor binding, enkephalin mRNA expression and dopamine and acetylcholine release in the nucleus accumbens"
Effect of chronic administration of morphine, U-50, 488H and [D-Pen 2, D-Pen 5] enkephalin on the
There are more than twenty kinds of opioid peptides for three types including enkephalin, endorphin and dynorphin.