The anorexic effect of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone is mediated by corticotrophin-releasing factor in chicks

Tetsuya Tachibana, Daichi Oikawa, Hirokazu Takahashi, Tim Boswell, Mitsuhiro Furuse

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Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is recognized as an anorexic peptide in the brain of vertebrates, but its mechanism of action has not been identified in birds. Therefore, we investigated whether the anorexic effect of alpha-MSH is mediated by corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) in the domestic chick. Firstly, we found that intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of alpha-MSH dose dependently increased plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentration. This effect was partly attenuated by co-injection of astressin, a CRF receptor antagonist, demonstrating that alpha-MSH stimulated CORT secretion by activating CRF neurons. The alpha-MSH-elicited CORT release was not attenuated by the injection of agouti-related protein, an endogenous melanocortin-4 (MC4) receptor antagonist, suggesting that alpha-MSH stimulated CRF neurons through MC4 receptor-independent pathways. Finally, we found that the anorexic effect of alpha-MSH was partly attenuated by astressin. The present results suggest that the anorexic effect of alpha-MSH in the chick brain is mediated in part by activation of CRF neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

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