Melanin-Concentrating Hormone in Medical Conditions

  • Alicia CostaEmail author
  • Luciana Benedetto
  • Patricia Lagos
  • Jaime M. Monti
  • Pablo Torterolo


In the last decade, there was an impressive advance in the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neuronal system. However, its role in pathology is still not clear. MCH is a peptidergic neuromodulator synthesized by neurons whose somas are mainly located in the posterolateral hypothalamus and incerto-hypothalamic area. The MCHergic neurons project throughout the central nervous system innervating areas involved in several physiological functions. MCH exerts its biological effects acting through two metabotropic receptors. There are substantive experimental data suggesting that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of energy homeostasis, mood, and sleep. In the present study, we summarize data related to the role of MCH in these functions, as well as preclinical and clinical evidences showing that dysfunction of the MCHergic system might be involved in several medical disorders including obesity, central hypersomnia, mood disorders, and ciliopathies.


Mood Depression Obesity Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease Hypersomnia Ciliopathies 



This work was partially supported by the “Programa de desarrollo de ciencias básicas,” PEDECIBA, Uruguay.

Conflict of Interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia Costa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luciana Benedetto
    • 1
  • Patricia Lagos
    • 1
  • Jaime M. Monti
    • 2
  • Pablo Torterolo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineUniversity of the RepublicMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine Clinics HospitalUniversity of the RepublicMontevideoUruguay

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