British journal of pharmacology

Long term orexigenic effect of a novel melanocortin 4 receptor selective antagonist.

PMID 10051117


1. We designed and synthesized several novel cyclic MSH analogues and tested their affinities for cells expressing the MC1, MC3, MC4 and MC5 receptors. 2. One of the substances HS028 (cyclic [AcCys11, dichloro-D-phenylalanine14, Cys18, Asp-NH2(22)]-beta-MSH11-22) showed high affinity (Ki of 0.95nM) and high (80 fold) MC4 receptor selectivity over the MC3 receptor. HS028 thus shows both higher affinity and higher selectivity for the MC4 receptor compared to the earlier first described MC4 receptor selective substance HS014. 3. HS028 antagonised a alpha-MSH induced increase in cyclic AMP production in transfected cells expressing the MC3 and MC4 receptors, whereas it seemed to be a partial agonist for the MC1 and MC5 receptors. 4. Chronic intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administration of HS028 by osmotic minipumps significantly increased both food intake and body weight in a dose dependent manner without tachyphylaxis for a period of 7 days. 5. This is the first report demonstrating that an MC4 receptor antagonist can increase food intake and body weight during chronic administration providing further evidence that the MC4 receptor is an important mediator of long term weight homeostasis.