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Int J Mol Med. 2005 Jun;15(6):1033-9.

Melanin-concentrating hormone enhances sucrose intake.

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International Center for Medical Research, Department of Clinical Molecular Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.


Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is known to be an important regulator for feeding and energy balance. MCH was recently reported to stimulate water intake independent of food intake. The purpose of the present study is to examine the dipsogenic response of MCH with special emphasis on sweetened beverages, the preference for which is well documented in diabetic animals. Our results showed that intracerebroventricular injection of MCH acutely increased food as well as water intake. Human (h)MCH and salmon (s)MCH increased water intake independent of food intake, which was not suppressed by angiotensin antagonists. hMCH and sMCH significantly increased both sucrose solution and food intake; on the other hand, agouti-related protein (AgRP) stimulated food but not sucrose intake when provided simultaneously. MCH-treated rats significantly increased the ingestion of sucrose and glucose solution, but not of saccharin, indicating that MCH-induced dipsogenic response is more related to caloric content than sweet taste per se. Significant correlation was observed between the sucrose intake and the mRNA expression of MCH and MCHR1 in normal rats. These results indicate that MCH may be an important regulator of sugar intake in normal as well as in obese diabetic animals.

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