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β-lipotropin is a 90 amino acid polypeptide that is the carboxy-terminal fragment of POMC. It stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin, and can also be cleaved into smaller peptides. In humans, γ-lipotropin, α-MSH, β-MSH, γ-MSH, α-endorphin, β-endorphin, γ-endorphin, and met-enkephalin are all possible fragments of β-lipotropin. β-lipotropin also performs lipid-mobilizing functions such as lipolysis and steroidogenesis.
Image: Detection of beta-Endorphin (dark-blue varicosities and processes) in rat pituitary (HRP-DAB-with Ni enhancement).
Images: G-CSF treatment increases the number of migrated β-endorphin-containing PMN cells in injured nerves. (A–C) Confocal laser scanning microscopy of PMN cells and β-endorphin peptides in the right sciatic nerve of vehicle-treated sham rats (A1–3), vehicle-treated CCI rats (B1–3), and G-CSF treated CCI rats (C1–3) 12 h after CCI, respectively. No apparent PMN cells or β-endorphin peptides were observed in the vehicle-treated sham operation rats. However, at 12 h, the count of β-endorphin-containing PMN cells was significantly higher in the G-CSF-treated CCI rats than in the vehicle-treated CCI rats. Scale bar: 100 µm. (D) Confocal high-power field laser scanning pictures showing a PMN cell with a typical segmented nucleus, which stained positive for β-endorphin peptides. Green: PMN cells; red: β-endorphin (END)-containing cells; blue (DAPI): cell nuclei. Scale bar: 10 µm. (E) The number of β-endorphin-containing PMN cells per section as calculated at different time points. The count of β-endorphin-containing PMN cells was higher in the CCI rats treated with G-CSF (black bars) compared to those treated with vehicle (grey bars) between 12–48 h after nerve injury. Data are shown as the means±SEM, n = 5 per group; one-way ANOVA, *p<0.05, **p<0.01: CCI + G-CSF group compared to CCI + vehicle group; #p<0.05, ##p<0.01: CCI + G-CSF or CCI + vehicle group compared to vehicle-treated sham operation control. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043680.g004