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Acta Physiol Scand. 1999 Oct;167(2):99-104.

Behavioural responses of gamma-MSH peptides administered into the rat ventral tegmental area.

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Laboratory of Pharmacology, Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga, Latvia.


The behavioural effects induced by alpha-, gamma1- and gamma2-MSH peptides (0.3 and 3 nmole per rat) injected into the left ventral tegmental area (VTA) of rats were compared. alpha- and gamma1-MSH caused grooming of comparable magnitude, and also additional vertical activity (rearing). By contrast gamma2-MSH caused a moderate but stable catalepsy, and practically no grooming. Moreover, intra-VTA pre-treatment with gamma2-MSH, 15 min prior to intra-VTA gamma1-MSH, markedly attenuated both the gamma1-induced grooming and vertical activities. The differences in the behavioural response of the MSH peptides indicate that they act differentially on MC receptors in the VTA.

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