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Review
, 7 (4), 307-23

Targeting Melanocortin Receptors: An Approach to Treat Weight Disorders and Sexual Dysfunction

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Review

Targeting Melanocortin Receptors: An Approach to Treat Weight Disorders and Sexual Dysfunction

Jarl E S Wikberg et al. Nat Rev Drug Discov.

Abstract

The melanocortin system has multifaceted roles in the control of body weight homeostasis, sexual behaviour and autonomic functions, and so targeting this pathway has immense promise for drug discovery across multiple therapeutic areas. In this Review, we first outline the physiological roles of the melanocortin system, then discuss the potential of targeting melanocortin receptors by using MC3 and MC4 agonists for treating weight disorders and sexual dysfunction, and MC4 antagonists to treat anorectic and cachectic conditions. Given the complexity of the melanocortin system, we also highlight the challenges and opportunities for future drug discovery in this area.

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