Redundancy of a functional melanocortin 1 receptor in the anti-inflammatory actions of melanocortin peptides: studies in the recessive yellow (e/e) mouse suggest an important role for melanocortin 3 receptor.
Getting SJ., Christian HC., Lam CW., Gavins FNE., Flower RJ., Schiöth HB., Perretti M.
The issue of which melanocortin receptor (MC-R) is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of melanocortin peptides is still a matter of debate. Here we have addressed this aspect using a dual pharmacological and genetic approach, taking advantage of the recent characterization of more selective agonists/antagonists at MC1 and MC3-R as well as of the existence of a naturally defective MC1-R mouse strain, the recessive yellow (e/e) mouse. RT-PCR and ultrastructural analyses showed the presence of MC3-R mRNA and protein in peritoneal macrophages (M phi) collected from recessive yellow (e/e) mice and wild-type mice. This receptor was functional as Mphi incubation (30 min) with melanocortin peptides led to accumulation of cAMP, an effect abrogated by the MC3/4-R antagonist SHU9119, but not by the selective MC4-R antagonist HS024. In vitro M phi activation, determined as release of the CXC chemokine KC and IL-1 beta, was inhibited by the more selective MC3-R agonist gamma(2)-melanocyte stimulating hormone but not by the selective MC1-R agonist MS05. Systemic treatment of mice with a panel of melanocortin peptides inhibited IL-1 beta release and PMN accumulation elicited by urate crystals in the murine peritoneal cavity. MS05 failed to inhibit any of the inflammatory parameters either in wild-type or recessive yellow (e/e) mice. SHU9119 prevented the inhibitory actions of gamma(2)-melanocyte stimulating hormone both in vitro and in vivo while HS024 was inactive in vivo. In conclusion, agonism at MC3-R expressed on peritoneal M phi leads to inhibition of experimental nonimmune peritonitis in both wild-type and recessive yellow (e/e) mice.