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noun, plural: lipotropins

A polypeptide hormone of the anterior pituitary gland that helps promote fat utilization (lipolysis) and acts as a precursor to certain endogenous opiate peptides


Lipotropin is a large polypeptide produced by the cells in the anterior pituitary gland. It is produced by the cleavage of proopiomelanocortin. Its physiological role is to promote fat mobilization from adipose tissues. It also promotes skin darkening since it stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin (dark pigment). It also acts as a precursor to certain endogenous opiates, such as endorphins.

Word origin: lipotrop(ic) + -in


  • lipid-mobilizing hormone
  • lipotropic hormone

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