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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 May 1;840:373-80.

Mechanisms of antiinflammatory action of the neuroimmunomodulatory peptide alpha-MSH.

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Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 75235-9040, USA. JLipto@MEDNET.SWMED.EDU


The antiinflammatory effects of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) molecules, specifically alpha-MSH(1-13) and its COOH-terminal tripeptide alpha-MSH(11-13), are well established. The peptides have been effective in tests of all major models of inflammation, and more recent tests have been extended to include experimental inflammatory bowel disease, CNS ischemia/reperfusion injury, and bacterial endotoxin-induced inflammation within the brain. The broad effectiveness of alpha-MSH molecules in all major types of inflammation indicates that the peptides exert actions that are very basic to the inflammatory process. Three general mechanisms of antiinflammatory action of alpha-MSH molecules have been identified: inhibition of production of inflammatory mediators by, or inhibition of inflammatory actions of, peripheral host cells; inhibition of peripheral inflammation induced by actions on melanocortin receptors within the brain; inhibition of CNS inflammation by local action of the peptides. It appears that alpha-MSH molecules have multiple actions that modulate the primitive inflammatory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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