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J Leukoc Biol. 2001 Jan;69(1):98-104.

Natural and synthetic agonists of the melanocortin receptor type 3 possess anti-inflammatory properties.

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  • 1The William Harvey Research Institute, London, England. S.J.Getting@mds.qmw.ac.uk


The effects of the natural and synthetic ligands for the melanocortin receptor type 3 (MC3-R) have been evaluated in a murine model of experimental gout. Systemic treatment of mice with gamma2-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (gamma2-MSH) and the synthetic agonist MTII inhibited accumulation of KC, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta), and PMN elicited by urate crystals in the peritoneal cavity. In vitro, macrophage (Mø) activation, determined as release of KC and IL-1beta, was inhibited by gamma2-MSH and MTII. The mixed MC3/4-R antagonist SHU9119 prevented the inhibitory actions of gamma2-MSH and MTII in vitro and in vivo, whereas the selective MC4-R antagonist HS024 was without effect. Western blotting also showed the presence of MC3-R protein on murine peritoneal Mø. Furthermore, agonism at the MC3-R evoked accumulation of cAMP within the Mø, which was inhibited by SHU9119. Thus, naturally occurring melanocortins, as well as the synthetic long-acting compound MTII, activate MC3-R on peritoneal Mø to inhibit the experimental inflammatory response.

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