The role of the melanocortin 3 receptor in mediating the effects of gamma-MSH peptides on the adrenal

Stephen C Harmer, Andrew B Bicknell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides, pro-gamma-MSH (16K fragment), and Lys-gamma3-MSH, have been shown to potentiate the steroidogenic action of corticotrophin (ACTH) on the adrenal cortex. Using a continuously perfused adrenal cell column system, we have tested the hypothesis that gamma-MSH peptides exert their effect through the Melanocortin 3 Receptor (MC3-R), since this is the only known receptor to have high affinity for gamma-MSH peptides and has been suggested to be expressed in the rat adrenal. To investigate this hypothesis we tested whether the MC3-R agonist MTII and antagonist SHU9119 could mimic or block the actions of pro-gamma-MSH. We found that MTII could not mimic, and SHU9119 could not block pro-gamma-MSH mediated potentiation of ACTH-induced steroidogenesis. These results suggest that the MC3-R is not involved in mediating the potentiation effect, adding further evidence to the argument that another melanocortin receptor exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-35
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Adrenal Glands/cytology
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones/pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments/pharmacology
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin/pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 3/agonists
  • Steroids/biosynthesis
  • alpha-MSH/analogs & derivatives
  • gamma-MSH/pharmacology


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