Melanocyte-stimulating hormone

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Melanocyte-stimulating hormones are a group of peptides produced via the cleavage of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC).

Inflammation α-MSH has potent anti-inflammatory effects although its precise mechanism is not fully understood, it is believed to influence vascular permeability and thus may act by decreasing it.

Cardiovascular Central application of γ- MSH (MC3R specific agonist, can induce tachycardia, while the bradychardia that occurs following electrical stimulation of the arcuate nucleus can be inhibited by the administration of SHU-9119 into the DVC. As it acts through MC4R this highlights a potential role for this receptor in mediating cardiovascular control.

Natriuresis γ-MSH acts on MC3R in the kidney to promote natriuresis, and hence a deficiency of this peptide, or a mutation of the receptor results in salt-sensitive hypertension in mice.

Sexual Function Activation of MC4R plays a role in erectile function in males while MC3R is believed to induce lordosis in females.

The Melanocortin Receptors, adapted from Yang et al. (2003)[1].


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