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Diabetologia. 2005 Aug;48(8):1621-6. Epub 2005 Jun 22.

Intracerebroventricular administration of melanotan II increases insulin sensitivity of glucose disposal in mice.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.



The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of central administration of melanotan II (MTII), a melanocortin-3/4 receptor agonist, on hepatic and whole-body insulin sensitivity, independent of food intake and body weight.


Over a period of 24 h, 225 ng of MTII was injected in three aliquots into the left lateral ventricle of male C57Bl/6 mice. The animals had no access to food. The control group received three injections of distilled water. Whole-body and hepatic insulin sensitivity were measured by hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp in combination with [(3)H]glucose infusion. Glut4 mRNA expression was measured in skeletal muscle.


Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations under basal and hyperinsulinaemic conditions were similar in MTII- and placebo-treated mice. Endogenous glucose production (EGP) and glucose disposal in the basal state were significantly higher in MTII-treated mice than in the control group (71+/-22 vs 43+/-12 micromol.min(-1).kg(-1), p<0.01). During hyperinsulinaemia, glucose disposal was significantly higher in MTII-treated mice (151+/-20 vs 108+/-20 micromol.min(-1).kg(-1), p<0.01). In contrast, the inhibitory effect of insulin on EGP was not affected by MTII (relative decrease in EGP: 45+/-27 vs 50+/-20%). Glut4 mRNA expression in skeletal muscle was significantly increased in MTII-treated mice (307+/-94 vs 100+/-56%, p<0.01).


Intracerebroventricular administration of MTII acutely increases insulin-mediated glucose disposal but does not affect the capacity of insulin to suppress EGP in C57Bl/6 mice. These data indicate that central stimulation of melanocortin-3/4 receptors modulates insulin sensitivity in a tissue-specific manner, independent of its well-known impact on feeding and body weight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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