Effects of selective modulation of the central melanocortin-3-receptor on food intake and hypothalamic POMC expression

Peptides. 2008 Mar;29(3):440-7. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2007.11.005. Epub 2007 Nov 21.


Hypothalamic POMC neurons regulate energy balance via interactions with brain melanocortin receptors (MC-Rs). POMC neurons express the MC3-R which can function as an inhibitory autoreceptor in vitro. We now demonstrate that central activation of MC3-R with ICV infusion of the specific MC3-R agonist, [D-Trp(8)]-gamma-MSH, transiently suppresses hypothalamic Pomc expression and stimulates food intake in rats. Conversely, we also show that ICV infusion of a low dose of a selective MC3-R antagonist causes a transient decrease in feeding and weight gain. These data support a functional inhibitory role for the MC3-R on POMC neurons that leads to changes in food intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 3 / agonists
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 3 / physiology*
  • gamma-MSH / chemistry
  • gamma-MSH / pharmacology


  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 3
  • gamma-MSH
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin