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

Activation of central melanocortin-4 receptor suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced fever in rats.

Activation of central melanocortin receptors (MCR) inhibits fever, but the identity of the MCR subtype(s) mediating this antipyretic effect is unknown. To determine whether selective central melanocortin receptor-4 (MC4R) activation produces antipyretic effects, the MC4R selective agonist MRLOB-0001 (CO-His-d-Phe-Arg-Trp-Dab-NH(2)) was administered intracerebroventricularly to rats treated with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 30 microg/kg ip). Treatment with MRLOB-0001 (150 ng icv) did not lower core body temperature (T(c)) in afebrile rats but did suppress LPS-induced increases in T(c) and associated decreases in tail skin temperature (T(sk)), an indicator of vasomotor thermoeffector function. In contrast, systemic treatment with MRLOB-0001 (150 ng iv) did not produce similar antipyretic effects. Coadministration of the selective MC4R antagonist HS014 (1 microg icv) blocked the antipyretic effects of MRLOB-0001. HS014 alone (1 microg icv) had no significant effect on LPS-induced increases in T(c) or decreases in T(sk) and in afebrile rats had no significant effects on T(c) or T(sk). We conclude that pharmacological activation of central MC4R suppresses febrile increases in T(c) and that inhibition of heat conservation pathways may contribute to this effect. These findings suggest that the central MC4R may mediate the long-recognized antipyretic effects of centrally administered melanocortins.[1]


  1. Activation of central melanocortin-4 receptor suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced fever in rats. Sinha, P.S., Schiöth, H.B., Tatro, J.B. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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