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Profound and rapid reduction in body temperature induced by the melanocortin receptor agonists.

Profound and rapid reduction in body temperature induced by the melanocortin receptor agonists

Xu Y1, Kim ER1, Fan S2, Xia Y3, Xu Y3, Huang C4, Tong Q5.


The melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) plays a major role in body weight regulation and its agonist MTII has been widely used to study the role of MC4Rs in energy expenditure promotion and feeding reduction. Unexpectedly, we observed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of MTII induced a rapid reduction in both body temperature and energy expenditure, which was independent of its effect on feeding and followed by a prolonged increase in energy expenditure. The rapid reduction was at least partly mediated by brain neurons since intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone, an endogenous melanocortin receptor agonist, produced a similar response. In addition, the body temperature-lowering effect of MTII was independent of the presence of MC4Rs, but in a similar fashion to the previously shown effect on body temperature by 5’AMP. Moreover, β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) were required for the recovery from low body temperature induced by MTII and further pharmacological studies showed that the MTII’s effect on body temperature may be partially mediated by the vasopressin V1a receptors. Collectively, our results reveal a previously unappreciated role for the melanocortin pathway in rapidly lowering body temperature.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Alpha-MSH; Body temperature; Energy expenditure; Feeding; MTII; Melanocortin

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2015/8/22]