The Fundamental Role of Melanocortins in Brain Processes

  • V. Klusa
  • B. Jansone
  • S. Svirskis
  • J. Rumaks
  • R. Muceniece
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science Series book series (NAII, volume 129)


The discoveries of the latest ten years have shed new light in understanding the roles of melanocortins and their receptors in brain functions and in the development of different pathologies. Since 1992 when genes encoded melanocortin receptor five subtypes were identified, cloned and characterized, the molecular mechanisms underlying different effects such as skin darkening, behaviour, food intake, anti-inflammatory action, analgesia have been clarified. The contribution of melanocortins and their receptors in the physiological control of organism homeostasis has become as the background for the search of agonists and antagonists of separate receptor subtypes, that can be targeted to the melanocortin receptors and used as therapeutic drugs for the treatment of psychoneuroendocrine and immune system diseases.


Receptor Subtype Ventral Tegmental Area Melanocortin Receptor ACTH Receptor Human Dermal Microvascular Endothelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Klusa
    • 1
  • B. Jansone
    • 1
  • S. Svirskis
    • 1
  • J. Rumaks
    • 1
  • R. Muceniece
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia
  2. 2.Division of Pharmacy Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia

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