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The distribution of melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity was investigated by radioimmunoassay in the CNS of rat, guinea-pig, pig and man. Highest concentrations of melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity were found in the hypothalamus of all the species: rat 204.4 +/- 14.9; guinea-pig 159.5 +/- 23.3; pig 10.9 +/- 4.5 and man 80.1 +/- 19.1 pmol/g. Gel chromatographic analysis of hypothalamic extracts showed five immunoreactive peaks of melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity in the rat and pig and six in the guinea-pig and man. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of hypothalamic extracts showed five immunoreactive peaks in rat, guinea-pig, pig and four in man. However, these peaks appeared at different retention times from that of the single peak of salmon melanin-concentrating hormone. Examination of subcellular fractions of whole rat brain showed that most of the melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity is found in the synaptosome fraction. Stimulation of melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity release from rat hypothalamic slices revealed that potassium in the presence of calcium stimulated melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity release. These findings suggest that mammalian melanin-concentrating hormone-like immunoreactivity has a different amino acid sequence from salmon melanin-concentrating hormone and may exist in multiple molecular forms. It is possible that melanin-concentrating hormone may play a role as a neurotransmitter or modulator in the mammalian CNS.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neuroscience

Publication Date

06/1988

Volume

25

Pages

925 - 930

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Animals, Brain, Female, Guinea Pigs, Humans, Hypothalamic Hormones, Male, Melanins, Middle Aged, Pituitary Hormones, Radioimmunoassay, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Spinal Cord, Subcellular Fractions