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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A human beta-endorphin pituitary adenoma.

A beta-endorphin (beta END)-containing pituitary adenoma was demonstrated by immunocytochemical, biochemical, and ultrastructural methods in a 43-yr-old man who had impotence, slight testicular atrophy, and an enlarged sella turcica (grade II0), but no manifestations of Cushing's disease. Preoperative hormone data revealed hyperprolactinemia (97 ng/ml), low plasma cortisol levels without circadian rhythm, undetectable plasma ACTH, and normal plasma FSH and LH levels, with an impaired response to LRH. After hypophysectomy, these hormone levels normalized and responded normally to dynamic tests. Immunocytochemically, 30% of the tumor cells reacted only with beta END antiserum. beta END immunoreactivity was the only component revealed by RIA and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A characteristic ultrastructural aspect is also described. These findings demonstrate dissociation in the secretion of the proopiomelanocortin-derived peptides and suggest a relationship between hyperprolactinemia and tumor secretion of beta END.[1]


  1. A human beta-endorphin pituitary adenoma. Trouillas, J., Girod, C., Sassolas, G., Vitte, P.A., Claustrat, B., Perrin, G., Lhéritier, M., Fischer, C., Dubois, M.P. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1984) [Pubmed]
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