Melanocortin-4 receptor in sheep: A potential site for therapeutic intervention in disease models

J. L. Sartin, C. G. Wagner, D. L. Marks, J. A. Daniel, C. D. McMahon, F. Y. Obese, C. Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Reduced appetite combined with increased metabolic rate and decreased lean body mass is a major consequence of disease and other stressors. Studies in rodent species suggest that an understanding of appetite regulation may provide methodologies for intervention to prevent the deterioration of body mass such as observed with cancer or infectious diseases. For example, melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R) antagonists have shown a remarkable ability to reverse or prevent cachexia in rodents with sarcoma or treated with endotoxin. Studies in sheep have indicated that a number of peptide neurotransmitters may have a role in regulating appetite in this species. For example, agouti related protein mRNA and protein levels are dramatically altered with fasting in sheep. Moreover, agouti related protein, neuropeptide Y, melanin concentrating hormone and orexin are potent stimuli to increase feed intake in sheep. Recent studies have indicated that one of these neurotransmitters, NPY, can work in principal to improve appetite in endotoxin-treated sheep. Current studies are examining the role that MC4-R antagonists may have in the prevention or correction of body mass wasting diseases as well as practical applications in animal production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-455
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • AGRP
  • Appetite
  • Endotoxin
  • MSH
  • NPY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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