beta-Endorphin is associated with overeating in genetically obese mice (ob/ob) and rats (fa/fa)

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Science  01 Dec 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4371, pp. 988-991
DOI: 10.1126/science.715455


Small doses of the opiate antagonist naloxone selectively abolished overeating in genetically obese mice (ob/ob) and rats (fa/fa). Elevated concentrations of the naturally occurring opiate beta-endorphin were found in the pituitaries of both obese species and in the blood plasma of the obese rats. Brain levels of beta-endorphin and Leu-enkephalin were unchanged. These data suggest that excess pituitary beta-endorphin may play a role in the development of the overeating and obesity syndrome.

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