endorphin
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GC: n

S: MN – https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=153552 (last access: 10 November 2020); HLN –  https://www.healthline.com/health/endorphins (last access: 11 November 2020).

N: 1. Composed by endogène “endogenous, growing within” (endo– meaning “inside, withing internal”) + (genus, meaning “race, stock, kind; family, birth, descent, origin,”); morphine, name coined by German apothecary Friedrich Sertürner in reference to Morpheus, Ovid’s name for the god of dreams, from Greek morphē “form, shape, beauty, outward appearance,” so called because of the drug’s sleep-inducing properties.

– Frequent in plural.

2. One of several substances made in the body that can relieve pain and give a feeling of well-being. Endorphins are peptides (small proteins) that bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. An endorphin is a type of neurotransmitter.
3. The cell body contains a large polypeptide called pro-opiomelanocortin, the precursor of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-endorphins. Pro-opiomelanocortin is transported down the axon and cleaved into fragments; one is beta-endorphin, contained in neurons that project to the periaqueductal gray matter, limbic structures, and major catecholamine-containing neurons in the brain. After release and interaction with receptors, beta-endorphin is hydrolyzed by peptidases.
4. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland.
5. It is known as “feel-good hormones” because it is the body’s natural pain reliever, it produces in response to stress or discomfort and acts as a natural painkiller, and as “endorphin-high” or “runner-high” is an intense boost of happiness and pleasure following a prolonged period of exercise, physical or emotional challenge, pain, or stress. Frequently, the runner’s high experienced near the end of a long, challenging race is attributed to endorphin release and a composite surge of pain-relief peptides that block sensory receptors.

S: 1. OED – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=endorphin (last access: 10 November 2020). 2. NCI-  https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/endorphin (last access: 11 November 2020). 3. MSD – https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/neurotransmission/neurotransmission?query=endorphins (last access: 11 November 2020). 4. HLN – https://www.healthline.com/health/endorphins (last access: 11 November 2020). 5. ELSEVIER – https://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/3-s2.0-B9780123850959002177/first-page-pdf (last access: 12 November 2020); HLN – https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone (last access: 12 November 2020); MEDNT – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/runners-high (last access: 12 November 2020).

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CR: morphine, opium, pain.