Neuropeptide regulation of interleukin-1 activities. Capacity of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone to inhibit interleukin-1-inducible responses in vivo and in vitro exhibits target cell selectivity

Inflammation. 1986 Dec;10(4):371-85. doi: 10.1007/BF00915821.


alpha-Melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), a 13 amino acid neuropeptide produced by the pituitary gland, was found to markedly inhibit the capacity of exogenously administered interleukin-1 (IL-1) to stimulate the enhanced synthesis of acute-phase proteins and induce neutrophilia in vivo. The administration of ACTH or glucocorticosteroids lacked most of these direct IL-1 inhibitory properties. Therefore, in addition to the previously reported antipyretic action of alpha-MSH, this hormone can also inhibit two other known IL-1 sensitive cellular targets in vivo. Further, alpha-MSH was incapable of modifying the comitogenic influence of IL-1 on murine thymocytes or on an IL-1 responsive T-cell line. These findings suggest a target cell specificity to the IL-1 inhibitory activities of alpha-MSH and fail to support the hypothesis that alpha-MSH functions through competitive inhibition of specific cellular receptors for IL-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Fever / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / biosynthesis*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • Dexamethasone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones