Researchers have been investigating alpha-endorphin since the 1970s, but are still not sure exactly how the polypeptide works or how it specifically affects the body. It is known, however, that alpha-endorphin contains 16 amino acids, only one less than gamma-endorphin, from which it may be formed. The seemingly small alteration of the substance, however, is apparently accompanied by a significant change in the influence the polypeptide has on the body. Studies have yet to reveal the exact nature of these changes, but some scientists have suggested that alpha-endorphin may stimulate the brain in a manner similar to amphetamines, while others indicate that gamma-endorphin originates at times from cells of the stomach and may help treat anaphylactic shock and similar conditions.

© 1995-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 09:53 AM
Access Count Since April 15, 1998: 33360
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.