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Hypothalamo-pituitary disconnection (HPD) in the sheep results in a two-fold increase in pituitary intermediate lobe (IL) immunoreactive (ir)-alpha-N-acetylated endorphin (NacEP) and ir-alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha MSH) content. The rise in IL NacEP content is accompanied by a markedly altered pattern of processing, in that NacEP1-27 becomes the dominant molecular species with a complementary fall in Nac alpha-EP and Nac gamma-EP.
We have used specific radioimmunoassay and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine content and molecular forms of pituitary alpha-N-acetylated endorphin (NacEP) in the intact and hypothalamo-pituitary-disconnected (HPD) sheep. No significant differences were seen in anterior pituitary (AP) immunoreactive (ir-) NacEP levels (control = 4. 34 +/- 0. 45 ng/mg; HPD = 4. 38 +/- 0. 83 ng/mg; n = 4) or in HPLC profiles following pituitary disconnection.
adrenocorticotropic hormone (18-39), lysine-rich histones, adrenocorticotropic hormone (1-2)[Ser-Tyr], adrenocorticotropic hormone (11-24), alpha-N,O-diacetyl-alphaMSH and alpha-N-acetylated beta-endorphin.
In a study to determine the precise molecular nature of alpha-N-acetylated beta-endorphin immunoreactivity, we noted a striking difference in high-performance liquid chromatography profiles of anterior pituitary extracts between sheep killed on the farm, and age-, sex- and strain-matched slaughterhouse animals. These altered patterns of a-N-acetylated beta-endorphin processing were reproduced in farm animals by chronic (</= 4 days) treatment with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone; in contrast dexamethasone had no effect on a-N-acetylated beta-endorphin processing in hypothalamo-pituitary disconnected sheep.