Melanocortin peptides are known to be extremely potent in causing the sustained reversal of different shock conditions, both in experimental animals and humans; the mechanism of action includes an essential brain loop. Three melanocortin receptor subtypes are expressed in brain tissue: MC3, MC4, and MC5 receptors. In a volume-controlled model of hemorrhagic shock in anesthetized rats, invariably causing the death of control animals within 30 min after saline injection, the i.v. bolus administration of the adrenocorticotropin fragment 1-24 (agonist at MC4 and MC5 receptors) at a dose of 160 mu g/kg i.v. (54 nmol/kg) produced an almost complete and sustained restoration of cardiovascular and respiratory functions. An equimolar dose of gamma(1)-melanocyte stimulating hormone (selective agonist at MC3 receptors) was completely ineffective. The selective antagonist at MC4 receptors, HS014, although having no influence on cardiovascular and respiratory functions per se, dose-dependently prevented the antishock activity of adrenocorticotropin fragment 1-24, with the effect being complete either at the i.v. dose of 200 mg/kg or at the i.c.v. dose of 5 mg/rat (17-20 mg/kg). We concluded that the effect of melanocortin peptides in hemorrhagic shock is mediated by the MC4 receptors in the brain.
Evidence that melanocortin 4 receptor mediates hemorrhagic shock reversal caused by melanocortin peptides / Guarini, Salvatore; Bazzani, Carla; Mm, Cainazzo; Mioni, Chiara; G., Ferrazza; Vergoni, Anna Valeria; Hb, Schioth; Jes, Wikberg; Bertolini, Alfio. - In: THE JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS. - ISSN 0022-3565. - STAMPA. - 291:(1999), pp. 1023-1027.