Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone is a peripheral, integrative regulator of glucose and fat metabolism.


Journal Article

Melanocortins are known to affect feeding and probably insulin activity through the central nervous system. It was also recently shown that peripheral alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) administration can reduce weight gain in both genetic and diet-induced obese mice. As obesity is often associated with disregulation of glucose and insulin, we investigated the nature of glucose homeostasis in the obese pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) knockout mouse. Here we report that though they are obese, mice deficient in POMC (and, thereby, deficient in alpha-MSH) are euglycemic throughout their lives. While these mice are euinsulinemic, they are hypersensitive to exogenous insulin. This defect can be reversed through administration of alpha-MSH. We demonstrate that the actions of alpha-MSH in the periphery, known from our work to include lipid metabolism effects, are also involved in glucose homeostasis. These findings substantiate a pivotal role of the POMC gene products in integrating metabolism.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Brennan, MB; Costa, JL; Forbes, S; Reed, P; Bui, S; Hochgeschwender, U

Published Date

  • June 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 994 /

Start / End Page

  • 282 - 287

PubMed ID

  • 12851327

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12851327

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1749-6632

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0077-8923

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb03191.x


  • eng