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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The role of the melanocortin system and the melanocortin-4 receptor in ring dove (Streptopelia risoria) feeding behavior.

The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R) is an important mediator of the effects of two melanocortin system ligands, alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP), on feeding behavior and energy balance in mammals. Although an avian homologue of the mammalian MC4-R has recently been identified, there is little information on the role of this receptor and the melanocortin system in avian feeding and body weight regulation. In these studies, we measured changes in feeding behavior in ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) following intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of various melanocortin receptor agonists and antagonists. The selective MC4-R antagonist HS014 elevated food intake within 4 h at all three doses tested (0.02, 0.2, and 2 nmol). A 1 nmol dose of the endogenous antagonist AGRP also stimulated feeding but only after a post-injection interval of 10 h. Surprisingly, the MC3-R and MC4-R antagonist SHU9119 not only failed to stimulate food intake at the same doses as HS014, but actually inhibited food intake at 8 h after injection. Whether this was due to toxicity effects or differences in the pharmacology of avian and mammalian melanocortin receptors remains to be determined. Food-deprived doves showed a fourfold increase in the number of AGRP-immunoreactive cells in the tuberal region of the hypothalamus and 5 ng of the MC3-R and MC4-R agonist MTII significantly attenuated the amount of food consumed by food-deprived birds that were allowed to re-feed. These data support a role for the melanocortin system and the melanocortin-4 receptor in the ring dove feeding behavior.[1]


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