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

Miles B. Brennan, Jessica Lynn Costa, Stacy Forbes, Peggy Reed, Stephanie Bui, Ute Hochgeschwender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Melanocortins are known to affect feeding and probably insulin activity through the central nervous system. It was also recently shown that peripheral α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-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 α-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 α-MSH. We demonstrate that the actions of α-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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume994
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Energy homeostasis
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipid
  • Metabolism
  • Mouse
  • Obesity
  • Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)
  • α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)

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