Anti-inflammatory actions of the neuroimmunomodulator alpha-MSH

Immunol Today. 1997 Mar;18(3):140-5. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5699(97)01009-8.


alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is an endogenous neuroimmunomodulatory peptide that inhibits fever and all major forms of experimental inflammation. In humans, concentrations of alpha-MSH are increased at sites of inflammation, and in plasma in inflammatory disorders and after infection of endotoxin. The effects of this 'anti-cytokine' peptide are mediated through alpha-MSH receptors and regulatory circuits in macrophages and neutrophils, and through descending neural anti-inflammatory pathways that originate from alpha-MSH receptors on neurons within the brain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology*
  • alpha-MSH / pharmacology
  • alpha-MSH / physiology*
  • alpha-MSH / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • alpha-MSH