Endorphins (contracted from "endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid neuropeptides in humans and other animals. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. The term implies a pharmacological activity (analogous to the activity of the corticosteroid category of biochemicals) as opposed to a specific chemical formulation. It consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean "a morphine-like substance originating from within the body".The class of endorphin compounds includes a-endorphin, ß-endorphin, ?-endorphin, s-endorphin, a-neo-endorphin, and ß-neo-endorphin. The principal function of endorphins is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals; they may also produce a feeling of euphoria very similar to that produced by other opioids.
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