OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that a melanocortin agonist can reverse obesity and insulin resistance in mice overexpressing the agouti protein. EXPERIMENTAL MODEL: Mice overexpressing the agouti protein either by transgene introduction (β-actin promotor) or by mutation (A(Y)). DESIGN: NDPMSH was tested for pharmacokinetic suitability. NDPMSH at various doses was administered subcutaneously twice a day for 2-3 weeks. MEASUREMENTS: Fur pigmentation, various fatness parameters (core temperature, fat pad weight and body weight), blood glucose and hormones, fatty acid synthase measurement. RESULTS: NDPMSH caused fur pigmentation and core temperature changes, but failed to affect any metabolic parameters in agouti-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: NDPMSH, as a representation melanocortin agonist, does not compete with agouti in reversing agouti-dependent metabolic effects. This suggests that 1) agouti works via a receptor other than a melanocortin receptor to mediate its metabolic effects, 2) agouti-dependent metabolic effects are mediated through melanocortin receptors but not via antagonism of these receptors, or 3) NDPMSH is pharmacodynamically an inappropriate molecule for these types of studies.
- Melanocortin receptors