Methionine-enkephalin and beta-endorphin levels in brain, pancreas, and adrenals of db/db mice

Endocrinology. 1985 Jan;116(1):328-31. doi: 10.1210/endo-116-1-328.


Levels of methionine-enkephalin immunoreactivity (MEI) and beta-endorphin immunoreactivity (BEI) were measured by means of a specific RIA in pituitary, hypothalamus, pancreas, and adrenal glands of db/db and control mice. We found significantly higher levels of MEI in the pituitaries of db/db mice than in either littermate or background strain controls. There was no significant difference in MEI levels in pancreas, adrenal glands, and hypothalamus. There was a significant difference in the BEI levels in the pituitaries of db/db mice compared with those in controls. No significant difference in BEI levels was observed between db/db and control mice in any of the other regions examined. We conclude from the above data that the opiate peptide system in the hypophyseal-hypothalamic axis of the db/db mouse is abnormal and warrants further investigation. The significance of this finding with respect to the possible etiology of diabetes mellitus is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Endorphins / metabolism*
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / metabolism*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • beta-Endorphin


  • Blood Glucose
  • Endorphins
  • Insulin
  • Enkephalin, Methionine
  • beta-Endorphin