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      Hypothalamic melanocortin system regulates sympathetic nerve activity in brown adipose tissue.

      Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood, N.j.)

      Temperature, Adipose Tissue, Brown, drug effects, innervation, Agouti-Related Protein, Animals, Eating, physiology, Hypothalamus, Injections, Intraventricular, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Male, Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones, administration & dosage, pharmacology, Proteins, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 4, Sympathetic Nervous System

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          Abstract

          To clarify the neuronal mechanism of the hypothalamic melanocortin system in regulating energy metabolism, we investigated the effects of centrally administered alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) and agouti-related protein (AGRP), an agonist and an antagonist for the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4-R), respectively, on the activity of sympathetic nerves innervating brown adipose tissue (BAT) and on BAT temperature. A bolus infusion of alpha-MSH (1 nmol) into the third cerebral ventricle (i3vt) significantly increased sympathetic nerve activity and elevated BAT temperature (P<0.05). The i3vt infusion of AGRP (1 nmol) gradually suppressed BAT sympathetic nerve activity and was accompanied by a significant reduction in BAT temperature (P<0.05). In conclusion, the hypothalamic melanocortin system may regulate peripheral energy expenditure, as well as thermogenesis, through its influence on BAT sympathetic nerve activity.

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          14988515

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