Article: article from journal or magazin.
Agouti-related protein stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and enhances the HPA response to interleukin-1 in the primate.
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Publication Status: ppublish
Publication Status: ppublish
alpha-MSH antagonizes many of the immune and neuroendocrine effects induced by inflammatory cytokines. Studies have shown that alpha-MSH attenuates the stimulatory effect of IL-1 on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and plays a physiological role in limiting the HPA response to IL-1. Recently an alpha-MSH antagonist, agouti-related protein (AGRP), has been identified in the hypothalamus, which stimulates food intake by antagonizing the effects of alpha-MSH at specific melanocortin receptors. It is unknown whether AGRP can also modulate neuroendocrine responses to inflammatory cytokines. We have therefore examined the effects of AGRP on the HPA axis and on prolactin (PRL) at baseline and in response to stimulation by IL-1 beta in nine ovariectomized rhesus monkeys. In the first study, the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) infusion of 20 microg (n = 6) and 50 micro g (n = 4) of human AGRP (83-132)-NH(2) were compared with icv saline infusion. There was a significant stimulatory effect of 20 microg AGRP on cortisol release over time (P < 0.001). The area under the hormone response curve (AUC) for cortisol increased by 29% after 20 microg AGRP vs. saline; the AUC for ACTH increased by 166% (P = 0.028); the AUC for PRL increased by 108% (P = 0.046). There was a significant stimulatory effect of 50 microg AGRP on ACTH (P < 0.001), cortisol (P < 0.001), and PRL (P < 0.001) release over time. The AUC for ACTH after 50 microg AGRP increased by 98%; the AUC for cortisol increased by 37%; the AUC for PRL increased by 161%. The effects of AGRP on ACTH, cortisol, and PRL release were prevented by alpha-MSH infusion. In the second study, animals received icv either 50 ng of human IL-1 beta or 20 microg of AGRP followed by 50 ng IL-1 beta. AGRP significantly enhanced the ACTH (P < 0.05) response to IL-1 beta. The peak ACTH response to IL-1 beta alone was 124 +/- 55 pg/ml vs. 430 +/- 198 pg/ml after IL-1 beta plus AGRP; the peak cortisol response was 70 +/- 8.2 microg/dl vs. 77 +/- 6.2 microg/dl, but this was not significantly different. In conclusion, AGRP stimulated ACTH, cortisol, and PRL release in the monkey and enhanced the ACTH response to IL-1 beta. These studies suggest that, in addition to its known orexigenic effects, AGRP may play a role in neuroendocrine regulation and specifically that AGRP may interact with alpha-MSH to modulate neuroendocrine responses to inflammation.
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/metabolism, Agouti-Related Protein, Animals, Drug Synergism, Female, Humans, Hydrocortisone/metabolism, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/drug effects, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Interleukin-1/pharmacology, Macaca mulatta, Pituitary-Adrenal System/drug effects, Prolactin/metabolism, Proteins/pharmacology
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