A lipolytic activity for beta-endorphin (beta EP) has been recently suggested both in vitro and in vivo. In our study we evaluated the relationship between beta EP and blood lipid pattern in Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetic patients. Plasma beta EP, together with plasma beta-lipotropin (beta LPH), ACTH, cortisol and plasma insulin (IRI), was measured by RIA after silicic acid plasma extraction and Sephedex G-75 column chromatography. Although reduced beta EP (7.12 +/- 3.8 fmol/ml) and increased beta LPH (9.3 +/- 3.7 fmol/ml) levels were found in diabetic patients, compared to controls (8.53 +/- 3.3 fmol/ml, p less than 0.05 and 8.34 +/- 2.6 fmol/ml, p less than 0.05, respectively), higher plasma beta EP 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 less than 0.001). Several positive correlations between beta EP, plasma free fatty acids (r = 0.75, p less than 0.001), triglycerides (r = 0.84, p less than 0.001) and VLDL (r = 0.80, p less than 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 might therefore be associated with increased plasma beta EP levels in Type 2 diabetes.
Plasma beta-endorphin, free fatty acids and blood lipid changes in type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetic patients / S. B., Solerte; M., Fioravanti; F., Petraglia; Facchinetti, Fabio; A. L., Patti; N., Schifino; A. R., Genazzani; E., Ferrari. - In: JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION. - ISSN 0391-4097. - STAMPA. - 11:(1988), pp. 37-42.