Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 37–42 | Cite as

Plasma β-endorphin, free fatty acids and blood lipid changes in type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetic patients

  • S. B. Solerte
  • M. Fioravanti
  • F. Petraglia
  • F. Facchinetti
  • A. L. Patti
  • N. Schifino
  • A. R. Genazzani
  • E. Ferrari


A lipolytic activity for β-endorphin (βEP) has been recently suggested both in vitro and in vivo. In our study we evaluated the relationship between βEP and blood lipid pattern in Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetic patients. Plasma βEP, together with plasma β-lipotropin (βLPH), ACTH, cortisol and plasma insulin (IRI), was measured by RIA after silicic acid plasma extraction and Sephedex G-75 column chromatography. Although reduced βEP (7.12 ± 3.8 fmol/ml) and increased βLPH (9.3 ± 3.7 fmol/ml) levels were found in diabetic patients, compared to controls (8.53 ± 3.3 fmol/ml, p< 0.05 and 8.34 ± 2.6 fmol/ml, p< 0.05, respectively), higher plasma βEP concentrations were demonstrated in hyperlipidemic diabetic patients (10.3 ± 3.9 fmol/ml) than in patients with normal blood lipid pattern (4.85 ± 1.45 fmol/ml, p< 0.001 ). Several positive correlations between βEP, plasma free fatty acids (r = 0.75, p< 0.001 ), triglycerides (r = 0.84, p< 0.001 ) and VLDL (r = 0.80, p< 0.001 ) were found in our patients independently of overweight, hypoglycemic treatment, plasma IRI levels and of the degree of metabolic control. A higher prevalence of micro- and macrovascular complications was demonstrated in hyperlipidemic than in normolipidemic patients. Blood lipid disorders mighttherefore be associated with increased plasma βEP levels in Type 2 diabetes.


Non-insulin dependent diabetes β-endorphin blood lipids free fatty acids apolipoprotein B angiopathy 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. B. Solerte
    • 1
  • M. Fioravanti
    • 1
  • F. Petraglia
    • 2
  • F. Facchinetti
    • 2
  • A. L. Patti
    • 1
  • N. Schifino
    • 1
  • A. R. Genazzani
    • 2
  • E. Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina InternaClinica Medica II, University of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Clinica Ostetrico-GinecologicaUniversity of ModenaModenaItaly

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