Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Day-time plasma beta-endorphin/beta-lipotrophic hormone (beta-ENDO/beta-LPH), ACTH and cortisol have been determined in 26 patients with major depression and 25 controls. beta-ENDO/beta-LPH and cortisol were significantly elevated in patients, while ACTH was not. Cortisol levels were significantly negatively correlated with age in controls as were beta-ENDO/beta-LPH and ACTH. In patients, by contrast, cortisol levels were positively, albeit not significantly, related to age. Peptide levels were not related to age in the patient group. Instead, beta-ENDO/beta-LPH was negatively correlated with clinical ratings of symptom severity in patients and positively associated with an acute psychosocial precipitant. The findings cast further light on beta-ENDO/beta-LPH as a measure of hypothalamic-pituitary over activity in depressive illness. A negative association with symptom severity suggests that beta-ENDO/beta-LPH responses are, like those of ACTH, down-regulated in the course of depressive illness.

Original publication




Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





281 - 289


Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Adult, Aged, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Inventory, Pituitary-Adrenal System, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, beta-Endorphin, beta-Lipotropin