Yonsei Med J.  2002 Aug;43(4):500-510. 10.3349/ymj.2002.43.4.500.

The Effect of alpha MSH Analogues on Rat Bones

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. lsk@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, College of Dentist, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


Melanocortin is the downstream mediator of leptin signaling and absence of leptin signaling in ob/ob and db/db mice revealed the enhancement of bone formation through the central regulation. While alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha MSH) inhibits the secretion of interleukin-1 alpha and tumor necrosis factor-alpha from the inflammatory cells, alpha MSH can also enhance clonal expansion of pro B cells linked to stimulation of osteoclastogenesis. Therefore, we tested the effect of melanocortin on bones. alpha MSH analogues [6His] alpha MSH-ND and [6Asn] alpha MSH-ND were synthesized and the radio-ligand receptor binding- and cyclic AMP generating activity were analyzed in China Hamster Ovary cell line over- expressing melanocortin receptors. The EC50 of [6His] alpha MSH-ND measured from melanocortin-1, 3, 4 and 5 receptors were 0.008 0.0045, 1.523 0.707, 0.780 0.405, and 250.320 42.234 nM, respectively, and the EC50 of [6Asn] alpha MSH-ND were 16.8 6.94, 271.8 21.95, 8.0 1.21, and 1132.5 635.46 nM, respectively. Four weeks after the subcutaneous injection of the analogues, the body weights in the [6His] alpha MSH-ND and the [6Asn] alpha MSH-ND treated groups (346.0 20.63 g vs. 350.0 13.57 g) were lower than that of the vehicle treated group (375.8 17.31 g, p 0.05). There was no difference in the total femoral BMD measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry among the three groups. Among the three groups, there were no differences in the total numbers of crystal violet positive- or alkaline phosphatase positive colonies, in the expression of Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor Kappa-B ligand on the tibia and the total number of multinucleated osteoclast-like cells differentiated from primary cultured bone marrow cells. From the above results, no evidence of bone gain or loss was found after treatment of the alpha MSH analogues peripherally.


alpha MSH; bone mineral density; osteoclast
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