The melanocortin system is well recognized to be involved in the regulation of food intake, body weight, and energy homeostasis. To probe the role of the MC3 in the regulation of food intake, JRH322-18 a mixed MC 3 partial agonist/antagonist and MC4 agonist tetrapeptide was examined in wild type (WT) and melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4) knockout mice and shown to reduce food intake in both models. In the wild type mice, 2.0 nmol of JRH322-18 statistically reduced food intake 4 h post icv treatment into satiated nocturnally feeding wild type mice. The same dose in the MC4KO mice significantly reduced cumulative food intake 24 h post treatment. Conditioned taste aversion as well as activity studies supports that the decreased food intake was not due to visceral illness. Since these studies resulted in loss-of-function results, the SHU9119 and agouti-related protein (AGRP) melanocortin receptor antagonists were administered to wild type as well as the MC3 and MC4 knockout mice in anticipation of gain-of-function results. The SHU9119 ligand produced an increase in food intake in the wild type mice as anticipated, however no effect was observed in the MC3 and MC4 knockout mice as compared to the saline control. The AGRP ligand however, produced a significant increase in food intake in the wild type as well as the MC3 and MC4 knockout mice and it had a prolonged affect for several days. These data support the hypothesis that the MC3 plays a subtle role in the regulation of food intake, however the mechanism by which this is occurring remains to be determined.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grants DK57080 and DK6425 (CHL). Boman Irani is a recipient of an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The authors would like to thank Mr. Gabriel Gaidosh for expert guidance and advice on the c-Fos assay and Dr. Glenn Walter for the use of the Leica DC500 imaging system.
- Energy homeostasis
- Food intake
- Knockout mice