Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 2003 Jan;144(1):360-70.

Alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone prevents lipopolysaccharide-induced vasculitis by down-regulating endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression.

Author information

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cell Biology and Immunobiology of the Skin, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany.


The neuroendocrine hormone alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) has profound antiinflammatory and immunomodulating properties. Here we have examined the possibility that alpha-MSH may interfere with the expression and function of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) expressed by human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or TNFalpha in vitro and in vivo. In HDMEC, alpha-MSH (10(-8)/10(-12) M) profoundly reduced the mRNA and protein expression of E-selectin, vascular CAM (VCAM)-1, and intercellular CAM (ICAM)-1 induced by LPS or TNFalpha as determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR, ELISA, and fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. In addition, alpha-MSH significantly impaired the LPS-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1-mediated adhesion of lymphocytes to HDMEC monolayer in a functional adhesion assay. Likewise, alpha-MSH effectively inhibited the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB activation in HDMEC, which is required for CAM gene expression. Importantly in vivo, in murine LPS-induced cutaneous vasculitis (local Shwartzman reaction), a single ip injection of alpha-MSH significantly suppressed the deleterious vascular damage and hemorrhage by inhibiting the sustained expression of vascular E-selectin and VCAM-1. This persistent expression has been implicated in the dysregulation of diapedesis and activation of leukocytes, which subsequently leads to hemorrhagic vascular damage. Our findings indicate that alpha-MSH may have an important therapeutical potential for the treatment of vasculitis, sepsis, and inflammatory diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center