The C-fragment of beta-lipotropin: an endogenous neuroleptic or antipsychotogen?

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Science  05 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4265, pp. 632-635
DOI: 10.1126/science.185695


Microinjection of the C-fragment (also called beta-endorphin), which is amino acid sequence 61-91 of the endogenous pituitary hormone, beta-lipotropin (beta-LPH), in the periaqueductal gray of the rat resulted in profound sedation and catalepsy, while microinjection of smaller fragments-that is, methionine-enkephalin [sequence beta-LPH-(61-65)] and its related pentapeptide, leucine enkephalin, and alpha-endorphin [sequence beta-LPH-(61-76)] resulted in attenuated forms of this behavior. This indicates that the C-fragment is an important neuromodulator of the central nervous system. The similarity of this behavior to that seen after systemic administration to experimental animals of exogenous neuroleptics suggests that a disturbance in the bioavailability of this neuropeptide to receptor sites in brain-perhaps due to lack of enzymatic cleavage from the circulating parent hormone, beta-lipotropin--may be an etiological factor in those psychopathological states for which the exogenous neuroleptics exert an ameliorative influence.