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

Melanin-concentrating hormone is a critical mediator of the leptin-deficient phenotype.

Energy homeostasis is regulated by a complex network involving peripheral and central signals that determine food intake and energy expenditure. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) plays an essential role in this process. Animals treated with MCH develop hyperphagia and obesity. Ablation of the prepro-MCH gene leads to a lean phenotype, as does ablation of the rodent MCH receptor, MCHR-1. MCH is overexpressed in the leptin-deficient ob/ob mouse, and we hypothesized that ablation of MCH in this animal would lead to attenuation of its obese phenotype. Compared with ob/ob animals, mice lacking both leptin and MCH (double null) had a dramatic reduction in body fat. Surprisingly, the hyperphagia of the ob/ob mouse was unaffected. Instead, leanness was secondary to a marked increase in energy expenditure resulting from both increased resting energy expenditure and locomotor activity. Furthermore, double-null mice showed improvements in other parameters impaired in ob/ob mice. Compared with ob/ob mice, double-null animals had increased basal body temperature, improved response to cold exposure, lower plasma glucocorticoid levels, improved glucose tolerance, and reduced expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD-1). These results highlight the importance of MCH in integration of energy homeostasis downstream of leptin and, in particular, the role of MCH in regulation of energy expenditure.[1]


  1. Melanin-concentrating hormone is a critical mediator of the leptin-deficient phenotype. Segal-Lieberman, G., Bradley, R.L., Kokkotou, E., Carlson, M., Trombly, D.J., Wang, X., Bates, S., Myers, M.G., Flier, J.S., Maratos-Flier, E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
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