Melanocortin receptors: perspectives for novel drugs

Eur J Pharmacol. 1999 Jun 30;375(1-3):295-310. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(99)00298-8.


The cloning of five different subtypes of melanocortin receptor subtypes have recently opened up new possibilities for the development of drugs. The physiological roles of the five melanocortin receptors have started to become understood, and compounds with selective actions on some of the five subtypes have become available. Presently, most clinically promising application for drugs active on melanocortin receptors are for control of feeding homeostasis and body weight and for treatment of inflammatory diseases. I review here the cloning, localisation, function and structure of the melanocortin receptors, in relation to the possibilities to develop selective drugs for these receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / chemistry
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / classification
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / physiology*
  • Receptors, Melanocortin
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Receptors, Corticotropin
  • Receptors, Melanocortin
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin