The pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptide melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) antagonizes the fever induced by several stimuli including endotoxin, endogenous pyrogen, and certain cytokines. To determine if α-MSH can antagonize the pyrogenic action of recombinant IL-6 and TNF directly within the central nervous system, the cytokines were injected with and without α-MSH (200 ng) into a lateral cerebral ventricle of rabbits and rectal temperature was monitored continuously. Central administration of both cytokines caused fever. However, when α-MSH was injected after cytokine administration, the fevers were markedly reduced. The results are consistent with previous observations on the antipyretic effect of α-MSH and they show that the peptide can act within the brain to antagonize pyrogenic actions of specific cytokines believed to be important in CNS mediation of fever.
- Tumor necrosis factor-α
- α-Melanocyte stimulating hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience