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Lonati C.,The Surgical Center | Sordi A.,The Surgical Center | Giuliani D.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Spaccapelo L.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | And 7 more authors.
Anesthesiology | Year: 2012

Background: Melanocortin peptides improve hemodynamic parameters and prevent death during severe hemorrhagic shock. In the present research we determined influences of a synthetic melanocortin 1/4 receptor agonist on the molecular changes that occur in rat liver during hemorrhage. Methods: Controlled-volume hemorrhage was performed in adult rats under general anesthesia by a stepwise blood withdrawal until mean arterial pressure fell to 40 mmHg. Then rats received either saline or the synthetic melanocortin 1/4 receptor agonist Butir-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Sar- NH 2 (Ro27-3225; n = 6-8 per group). Hemogasanalysis was performed throughout a 60-min period. Gene expression in liver samples was determined at 1 or 3 h using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: At 1 h, in saline-treated shocked rats, there were significant increases in activating transcription factor 3 (Atf3), early growth response 1 (Egr1), heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 (Hmox1), FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Fos), and jun oncogene (Jun). These changes were prevented by Ro27-3225 (mean ± SEM: Atf3 152.83 ± 58.62 vs. 579.00 ± 124.13, P = 0.002; Egr1 13.21 ± 1.28 vs. 26.63 ± 1.02, P = 0.001; Hmox1 3.28 ± 0.31 vs. 166.54 ± 35.03, P = 0.002; Fos 4.36 ± 1.03 vs. 14.90±3.44, P<0.001; Jun 6.62±1.93 vs. 15.07±2.09, P = 0.005; respectively). Increases in alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2m), heat shock 70kD protein 1A (Hspa1a), erythropoietin (Epo), and interleukin-6 (Il6) occurred at 3 h in shocked rats and were prevented by Ro27-3225 treatment (A2m 6.90 ± 0.82 vs. 36.73 ± 4.00, P < 0.001; Hspa1a 10.34 ±3.28 vs. 25.72 ± 3.64, P = 0.001; Epo 0.49 ± 0.13 vs. 2.37 ± 0.73, P = 0.002; Il6 1.05 ± 0.15 vs. 1.88 ± 0.23, P < 0.001; respectively). Further, at 3 h in shocked rats treated with Ro27-3225 there were significant increases in tight junction protein 1 (Tjp1; 27.30 ± 2.43 vs. 5.03 ±1.68, P < 0.001) and nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 1 (Nr4a1; 91.03 ± 16.20 vs. 30.43 ± 11.0, P = 0.01) relative to sham animals. Treatment with Ro27-3225 rapidly restored blood pressure, hemogasanalysis parameters, and lactate blood levels. Conclusions: Melanocortin treatment significantly prevents most of the systemic and hepatic detrimental changes induced by hemorrhage. Copyright © 2012, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Source

Grieco P.,University of Naples Federico II | Carotenuto A.,University of Naples Federico II | Auriemma L.,University of Naples Federico II | Limatola A.,University of Naples Federico II | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Previous investigations indicate that α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and certain synthetic analogues of it exert antimicrobial effects against bacteria and yeasts. However, these molecules have weak activity in standard microbiology conditions and this hampers a realistic clinical use. The aim in the present study was to identify novel peptides with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in growth medium. To this purpose, the Gly10 residue in the [DNal(2′)-7, Phe-12]-MSH(6-13) sequence was replaced with conventional and unconventional amino acids with different degrees of conformational rigidity. Two derivatives in which Gly10 was replaced by the residues Aic and Cha, respectively, had substantial activity against Candida strains, including C. albicans, C. glabrata, and C. krusei and against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Conformational analysis indicated that the helical structure along residues 8-13 is a key factor in antimicrobial activity. Synthetic analogues of α-MSH can be valuable agents to treat infections in humans. The structural preferences associated with antimicrobial activity identified in this research can help further development of synthetic melanocortins with enhanced biological activity. © 2013 Grieco et al. Source

Arnason B.G.,University of Chicago | Berkovich R.,University of Southern California | Catania A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Lisak R.P.,Wayne State University | Zaidi M.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Multiple Sclerosis Journal | Year: 2013

The therapeutic benefits of adrenocorticotropic hormone in multiple sclerosis are usually ascribed to its corticotropic actions. Evidence is presented that adrenocorticotropic hormone, approved for multiple sclerosis relapses, acts via corticosteroid-independent melanocortin pathways to engender down-modulating actions on immune-system cells and the cytokines they synthesize. Immune response-dampening effects are also brought about by agent-induced neurotransmitters that inhibit immunocytes. The likelihood that adrenocorticotropic hormone promotes microglial quiescence and counteracts glucocorticoid-mediated bone resorption is discussed. © The Author(s) 2012. Source

Catania A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Lonati C.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Sordi A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Carlin A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | And 4 more authors.
TheScientificWorldJournal | Year: 2010

Melanocortin peptides, the collective term for α-, β-, and γ-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-, β-, γ-MSH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), are elements of an ancient modulatory system. Natural melanocortins derive from the common precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Five receptor subtypes for melanocortins (MC 1-MC5) are widely distributed in brain regions and in peripheral cells. Melanocortin receptor activation by natural or synthetic ligands exerts marked anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. The anticytokine action and the inhibitory influences on inflammatory cell migration make melanocortins potential new drugs for treatment of inflammatory disorders. Effectiveness in treatment of acute, chronic, and systemic inflammatory disorders is well documented in preclinical studies. Further, melanocortins are promising compounds in neuroprotection. This review examines the main signaling circuits in anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions of melanocortins, and the potential therapeutic use of these molecules. ©2010 with author. Published by TheScientificWorld. Source

Catania A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Lonati C.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Sordi A.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | Leonardi P.,Center for Preclinical Investigation | And 4 more authors.
Peptides | Year: 2010

α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptide that exerts multiple protective effects on host cells. Previous investigations showed that treatment with α-MSH or synthetic melanocortin agonists reduces heart damage in reperfusion injury and transplantation. The aim of this preclinical research was to determine whether melanocortin treatment induces preconditioning-like cardioprotection. In particular, the plan was to assess whether melanocortin administration causes phenotype changes similar to those induced by repetitive ischemic events. The idea was conceived because both ischemic preconditioning and melanocortin signaling largely depend on cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation. Rats received single i.v. injections of 750 μg/kg of the α-MSH analogue Nle4,DPhe7-α-MSH (NDP-MSH) or saline and were sacrificed at 0.5, 1, 3, or 5 h. Western blot analysis showed that rat hearts expressed melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) protein. Treatment with NDP-MSH was associated with early and marked increase in interleukin 6 (IL-6) mRNA. This was followed by signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation and induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). There were no changes in expression of other cytokines of the IL-6 family. Expression of IL-10, IL-1β, and TNF-α was likewise unaltered. In hearts of rats treated with NDP-MSH there was increased expression of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77. The data indicate that NDP-MSH induces phenotype changes that closely resemble ischemic preconditioning and likely contribute to its established protection against reperfusion injury. In addition, the increased expression of Nur77 and SOCS3 could be part of a broader anti-inflammatory effect. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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