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Modulation of the Peripheral and Central Inflammatory Responses by a-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone

[ Vol. 3 , Issue. 6 ]


B. K. Oktar and I. Alican   Pages 623 - 628 ( 6 )


Inflammation, a localized response to tissue injury, and disorders characterized by inflammation are difficult problems in clinical medicine. This difficulty stems in large part from incomplete understanding of inflammatory processes and their regulation. Recent development of knowledge of the role of central nervous system and neuroendocrine system in host responses has provided a new view of the capacity of neuronal and soluble mediators in these systems to influence inflammation. One of these mediators is the endogenous neuropeptide α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH), which is an N-acetyl tridecapeptide derived from the cleavage of a larger precursor molecule, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). α-MSH is widely distributed in tissues of higher organisms, it has been identified in the pituitary, various brain regions, skin, circulation and other sites. The neuropeptide α-MSH is important to the natural limitation of fever, which is an early host response to endotoxin. In addition to its action within the brain to reduce fever, α-MSH has potent and broad antiinflammatory effects in many forms of inflammation. This review will summarize the data on the actions of the peptide on various aspects of peripheral and central inflammation. On the basis of the data presented, we may think that the antiinflammatory actions of the peptide via peripheral and / or central melanocortin receptors might put the peptide into practice therapeutically in near future.




Marmara University School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Haydarpasa, 81326, Istanbul- Turkey

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