Neuropeptide α-MSH antagonizes IL-6- and TNF-induced fever

L. W. Martin, A. Catania, M. E. Hiltz, J. M. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-299
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Cytokines
  • Fever
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α
  • α-Melanocyte stimulating hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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