We have synthesized the peptide TPLVTLFK corresponding to the β-endorphin fragment 12-19 (the name given by the authors - octarphin), and its analogs (LPLVTLFK, TLLVTLFK, TPLVLLFK, TPLVTLLK, TPLVTLFL). The peptide octarphin was labeled with tritium (the specific activity of 28 Ci/mmol) and its binding to the murine peritoneal macrophages has been studied. [(3)H]Octarphin was found to bind to macrophages with high affinity (K(d) = 2.3 ± 0.2 nM) and specificity. The specific binding of [(3)H]octarphin is inhibited by unlabeled β-endorphin and selective agonist of non-opioid β-endorphin receptor synthetic peptide immunorphin (SLTCLVKGFY) (K(i) = 2.7 ± 0.2 and 2.4 ± 0.2 nM respectively) and not inhibited by unlabeled naloxone, α-endorphin, γ-endorphin and [Met(5)]enkephalin (K(i) > 10 μM). Inhibiting activity of unlabeled analogs of octarphin is more then 100 times lower the unlabeled octarphin. Octarphin stimulates activity of murine immunocompetent cells in vitro and in vivo: at the concentration of 1-10 nM enhances the adhesion and spreading of peritoneal macrophages as well as their capacity to digest bacteria of Salmonella typhimurium virulent strain 415 in vitro. Intraperitoneal administration of peptide at dose 20 μg/animal on day 7,3 and 1 prior to the isolation of cells increases activity of peritoneal macrophages as well as T- and B-spleen lymphocytes.