Neuropeptide‐E‐1 Antagonizes the Action of Melanin‐Concentrating Hormone on Stress‐Induced Release of Adrenocorticotropin in the Rat

Marie‐Thérèse ‐T Bluet‐Pajot, Françoise Presse, Zoltan Voko, Carl Hoeger, Françoise Mounier, Jacques Epelbaum, Jean‐Louis ‐L Nahon

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The physiological role of melanin‐concentrating hormone (MCH) in mammals is still very elusive, but this peptide might participate in the central control of the hypothalamopituitary adrenal (HPA) axis during adaptation to stress. Cloning and sequencing of the rat MCH (rMCH) cDNA revealed the existence of additional peptides encoded into the MCH precursor. Among these peptides, neuropeptide (N) glutamic acid (E) isoleucine (I) arnide (NEI) is co‐processed and secreted with MCH in rat hypothalamus. In the present work we examined: (1) The pattern of rMCH mRNA expression during the light and dark conditions in the rat hypothalamus and (2) The effect of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of rMCH and NEI in the control of basal or ether stress‐modified release of corticotropin (ACTH), prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) secretion in vivo in light‐on and light‐off conditions. Our data indicate that rMCH mRNA levels do not change during the light‐on period, but increase after the onset of darkness. Either alone or co‐administered, rMCH and NEI do not modify basal secretion of GH and PRL at any time tested nor do they alter ether stress‐induced changes in these two hormonal secretions. At the end of the light on period corresponding to the peak of the circadian rhythm in ACTH, administration of rMCH but not NEI leads to a decrease in ACTH levels while MCH is not effective during the light off period of the cycle (i.e. when basal ACTH levels are already low). Using a moderate ether induced stress, ACTH levels are only stimulated during the dark phase of the cycle. rMCH (63 or 210 nmoles) prevents the rise in ACTH release while NEI alone does not modify the stress response. Co‐administration of both peptides before stress results in an abolition of the rMCH induced inhibition of ACTH plasma levels. Taken together, these data indicate that rMCH may act as a central corticotropin inhibitory factor involved in the circadian rhythmicity of plasma ACTH levels and that NEI antagonizes its action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1995



  • ACTH
  • growth hormone
  • melanin concentrating hormone
  • neuropeptide gene expression
  • prolactine
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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