hypothalamic hormones


Summary: Peptide hormones produced by NEURONS of various regions in the HYPOTHALAMUS. They are released into the pituitary portal circulation to stimulate or inhibit PITUITARY GLAND functions. VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN, though produced in the hypothalamus, are not included here for they are transported down the AXONS to the POSTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY before being released into the portal circulation.

Top Publications

  1. Ubuka T, Lai H, Kitani M, Suzuuchi A, Pham V, Cadigan P, et al. Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone identification, cDNA cloning, and distribution in rhesus macaque brain. J Comp Neurol. 2009;517:841-55 pubmed publisher
    ..GnIH neurons might thus regulate several neural systems in addition to pituitary gonadotropin release...
  2. Kokkotou E, Espinoza D, Torres D, Karagiannides I, Kosteletos S, Savidge T, et al. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) modulates C difficile toxin A-mediated enteritis in mice. Gut. 2009;58:34-40 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings signify MCH as a mediator of C difficile-associated enteritis and possibly of additional gut pathogens. MCH may mediate its proinflammatory effects at least in part by acting on epithelial cells in the intestine. ..
  3. Willie J, Sinton C, Maratos Flier E, Yanagisawa M. Abnormal response of melanin-concentrating hormone deficient mice to fasting: hyperactivity and rapid eye movement sleep suppression. Neuroscience. 2008;156:819-29 pubmed publisher
    ..When combined with caloric restriction, the treatment of healthy, obese subjects with this compound resulted in some subjects experiencing vivid dreams and sleep disturbances. ..
  4. Thannickal T, Lai Y, Siegel J. Hypocretin (orexin) and melanin concentrating hormone loss and the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Brain. 2008;131:e87 pubmed
  5. Lakaye B, Coumans B, Harray S, Grisar T. Melanin-concentrating hormone and immune function. Peptides. 2009;30:2076-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, we suggest that this could have important implications in several immune-mediated disorders and affirm that there is a clear need for further investigation. ..
  6. Guyon A, Conductier G, Rovere C, Enfissi A, Nahon J. Melanin-concentrating hormone producing neurons: Activities and modulations. Peptides. 2009;30:2031-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Because of such regulation, MCH neurons are some of the best candidate to account for infection-induced anorexia, but also obesity. ..
  7. Furudono Y, Ando C, Yamamoto C, Kobashi M, Yamamoto T. Involvement of specific orexigenic neuropeptides in sweetener-induced overconsumption in rats. Behav Brain Res. 2006;175:241-8 pubmed
  8. Shimazaki T, Yoshimizu T, Chaki S. Melanin-concentrating hormone MCH1 receptor antagonists: a potential new approach to the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. CNS Drugs. 2006;20:801-11 pubmed
  9. Kowalski T, Spar B, Weig B, Farley C, Cook J, Ghibaudi L, et al. Effects of a selective melanin-concentrating hormone 1 receptor antagonist on food intake and energy homeostasis in diet-induced obese mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006;535:182-91 pubmed
    ..Acute administration of SCH-A (30 mg/kg) prevented the decrease in energy expenditure associated with food restriction. These results indicate that MCH1 receptor antagonists may be effective in the treatment of obesity. ..

More Information


  1. Hahn J. Comparison of melanin-concentrating hormone and hypocretin/orexin peptide expression patterns in a current parceling scheme of the lateral hypothalamic zone. Neurosci Lett. 2010;468:12-7 pubmed publisher
  2. Smith D, Davis R, Rorick Kehn L, Morin M, Witkin J, McKinzie D, et al. Melanin-concentrating hormone-1 receptor modulates neuroendocrine, behavioral, and corticolimbic neurochemical stress responses in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006;31:1135-45 pubmed
    ..Distinct behavioral, physiological, and neurochemical stress, and anxiety-related responses were selectively modulated by the MCHR1, and these actions may involve corticolimbic regulation of stress responsivity and anxiety. ..
  3. Silva J, von Meyenn F, Howell J, Thorens B, Wolfrum C, Stoffel M. Regulation of adaptive behaviour during fasting by hypothalamic Foxa2. Nature. 2009;462:646-50 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results demonstrate that Foxa2 can act as a metabolic sensor in neurons of the lateral hypothalamic area to integrate metabolic signals, adaptive behaviour and physiological responses. ..
  4. Cook L, Shum L, Portwood S. Melanin-concentrating hormone facilitates migration of preadipocytes. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010;320:45-50 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that MCH could influence the expansion of adipose tissue through its ability to enhance preadipocyte migration. ..
  5. Mul J, Yi C, van den Berg S, Ruiter M, Toonen P, van der Elst M, et al. Pmch expression during early development is critical for normal energy homeostasis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2010;298:E477-88 pubmed publisher
  6. Guillemin R. Hypothalamic hormones a.k.a. hypothalamic releasing factors. J Endocrinol. 2005;184:11-28 pubmed
    ..This review will be composed of brief essays on current knowledge of each of the original 'hypothalamic hormones', TRH, GnRH, somatostatin, GHRH and corticotropin releasing hormone and will close on possible and ..
  7. Cvetkovic V, Brischoux F, Jacquemard C, Fellmann D, Griffond B, Risold P. Characterization of subpopulations of neurons producing melanin-concentrating hormone in the rat ventral diencephalon. J Neurochem. 2004;91:911-9 pubmed
    ..Thus, at least two subpopulations of MCH neurons can be distinguished on the basis of neuronal phenotypes and connections. These neurons may be involved in distinct circuitry and in distinct functions. ..
  8. Lagos P, Torterolo P, Jantos H, Chase M, Monti J. Effects on sleep of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) microinjections into the dorsal raphe nucleus. Brain Res. 2009;1265:103-10 pubmed publisher
    ..We therefore conclude that the hypothalamic MCHergic system, via its action in the DR, plays an important role in the generation and/or maintenance of the states of sleep. ..
  9. Pissios P. Animals models of MCH function and what they can tell us about its role in energy balance. Peptides. 2009;30:2040-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Emphasis is given on the discrepancies between the genetic and pharmacologic models of MCHR1 inactivation. We propose some solutions to resolve these discrepancies and discuss some future directions in MCH research. ..
  10. Croizier S, Franchi Bernard G, Colard C, Poncet F, La Roche A, Risold P. A comparative analysis shows morphofunctional differences between the rat and mouse melanin-concentrating hormone systems. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e15471 pubmed publisher
    ..These differences suggest that rat and mouse MCH neurons are differentially involved in anatomical networks that control feeding and the sleep/wake cycle. ..
  11. Thannickal T, Lai Y, Siegel J. Hypocretin (orexin) cell loss in Parkinson's disease. Brain. 2007;130:1586-95 pubmed
  12. Handlon A, Zhou H. Melanin-concentrating hormone-1 receptor antagonists for the treatment of obesity. J Med Chem. 2006;49:4017-22 pubmed
  13. Sakamaki R, Uemoto M, Inui A, Asakawa A, Ueno N, Ishibashi C, et al. Melanin-concentrating hormone enhances sucrose intake. Int J Mol Med. 2005;15:1033-9 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that MCH may be an important regulator of sugar intake in normal as well as in obese diabetic animals. ..
  14. Kriegsfeld L, Mei D, Bentley G, Ubuka T, Mason A, Inoue K, et al. Identification and characterization of a gonadotropin-inhibitory system in the brains of mammals. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:2410-5 pubmed
  15. Thannickal T, Nienhuis R, Siegel J. Localized loss of hypocretin (orexin) cells in narcolepsy without cataplexy. Sleep. 2009;32:993-8 pubmed
    ..In this study we examined hypocretin pathology in narcolepsy without cataplexy...
  16. Burdyga G, Varro A, Dimaline R, Thompson D, Dockray G. Feeding-dependent depression of melanin-concentrating hormone and melanin-concentrating hormone receptor-1 expression in vagal afferent neurones. Neuroscience. 2006;137:1405-15 pubmed
    ..Since the melanin-concentrating hormone system is associated with stimulation of food intake this effect of cholecystokinin may contribute to its action as a satiety hormone. ..
  17. Ubuka T, Ukena K, Sharp P, Bentley G, Tsutsui K. Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone inhibits gonadal development and maintenance by decreasing gonadotropin synthesis and release in male quail. Endocrinology. 2006;147:1187-94 pubmed
    ..To our knowledge, GnIH is the first identified hypothalamic neuropeptide inhibiting reproductive function in any vertebrate class. ..
  18. Modirrousta M, Mainville L, Jones B. Orexin and MCH neurons express c-Fos differently after sleep deprivation vs. recovery and bear different adrenergic receptors. Eur J Neurosci. 2005;21:2807-16 pubmed
    ..On the other hand, under certain conditions, Orx neurons may also be submitted to an inhibitory influence by NA through alpha2-ARs. ..
  19. Swanson L, Sanchez Watts G, Watts A. Comparison of melanin-concentrating hormone and hypocretin/orexin mRNA expression patterns in a new parceling scheme of the lateral hypothalamic zone. Neurosci Lett. 2005;387:80-4 pubmed
  20. Griffond B, Risold P. MCH and feeding behavior-interaction with peptidic network. Peptides. 2009;30:2045-51 pubmed publisher
  21. Risold P, Croizier S, Legagneux K, Brischoux F, Fellmann D, Griffond B. The development of the MCH system. Peptides. 2009;30:1969-72 pubmed publisher
    ..The understanding of processes involved in the differentiation of these sub-populations may help understand the medio-lateral differentiation of the tuberal hypothalamus. ..
  22. Stanley S, Pinto S, Segal J, Pérez C, Viale A, DeFalco J, et al. Identification of neuronal subpopulations that project from hypothalamus to both liver and adipose tissue polysynaptically. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:7024-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The delineation of this circuitry will facilitate a functional analysis of the possible role of these potential command-like neurons to modulate autonomic outflow and coordinate metabolic responses in liver and adipose tissue. ..
  23. Chung S, Parks G, Lee C, Civelli O. Recent updates on the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and its receptor system: lessons from MCH1R antagonists. J Mol Neurosci. 2011;43:115-21 pubmed publisher
    ..This will help us understand the physiological functions of the MCH system and suggest some of the potential applications of MCH1R antagonists in human disorders. ..
  24. Adler E, Hollis J, Clarke I, Grattan D, Oldfield B. Neurochemical characterization and sexual dimorphism of projections from the brain to abdominal and subcutaneous white adipose tissue in the rat. J Neurosci. 2012;32:15913-21 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, the neurochemical substrates that project through polysynaptic pathways to iWAT and rWAT are different in male and female rats, suggesting that metabolic regulation of rWAT and iWAT is sexually dimorphic. ..
  25. Conductier G, Nahon J, Guyon A. Dopamine depresses melanin concentrating hormone neuronal activity through multiple effects on ?2-noradrenergic, D1 and D2-like dopaminergic receptors. Neuroscience. 2011;178:89-100 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall, DA should lead to a decrease in MCH neuron excitability, likely resulting in down-regulation of MCH release and feeding behavior. ..
  26. Yin H, Ukena K, Ubuka T, Tsutsui K. A novel G protein-coupled receptor for gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone in the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica): identification, expression and binding activity. J Endocrinol. 2005;184:257-66 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that GnIH acts directly on the pituitary via GnIH receptor to inhibit gonadotropin release. GnIH may also act on the hypothalamus to inhibit gonadotropin-releasing hormone release...
  27. Bayer L, Eggermann E, Serafin M, Grivel J, Machard D, Muhlethaler M, et al. Opposite effects of noradrenaline and acetylcholine upon hypocretin/orexin versus melanin concentrating hormone neurons in rat hypothalamic slices. Neuroscience. 2005;130:807-11 pubmed
  28. Hanriot L, Camargo N, Courau A, Leger L, Luppi P, Peyron C. Characterization of the melanin-concentrating hormone neurons activated during paradoxical sleep hypersomnia in rats. J Comp Neurol. 2007;505:147-57 pubmed
    ..Based on these results and the literature, we propose that MCH could be involved in memory processes and in the inhibition of muscle tone during PS...
  29. Mashiko S, Ishihara A, Gomori A, Moriya R, Ito M, Iwaasa H, et al. Antiobesity effect of a melanin-concentrating hormone 1 receptor antagonist in diet-induced obese mice. Endocrinology. 2005;146:3080-6 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that MCH has a major role in the development of diet-induced obesity in mice and that a MCH1R antagonist might be a useful candidate as an antiobesity agent. ..
  30. Williamson Hughes P, Grove K, Smith M. Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH): a novel neural pathway for regulation of GnRH neurons. Brain Res. 2005;1041:117-24 pubmed
    ..Thus, MCH is another potential signal that may serve to integrate energy balance and reproductive function. ..
  31. Hassani O, Lee M, Jones B. Melanin-concentrating hormone neurons discharge in a reciprocal manner to orexin neurons across the sleep-wake cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:2418-22 pubmed publisher
  32. Kessler B, Stanley E, Frederick Duus D, Fadel J. Age-related loss of orexin/hypocretin neurons. Neuroscience. 2011;178:82-8 pubmed publisher
  33. Li Y, van den Pol A. Enhanced excitatory input to melanin concentrating hormone neurons during developmental period of high food intake is mediated by GABA. J Neurosci. 2009;29:15195-204 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus during the early developmental period when food consumption is high, MCH neurons are more depolarized than in the adult, and an increased level of excitatory synaptic input to these orexigenic cells is mediated by GABA. ..
  34. Morens C, Nørregaard P, Receveur J, van Dijk G, Scheurink A. Effects of MCH and a MCH1-receptor antagonist on (palatable) food and water intake. Brain Res. 2005;1062:32-8 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, our results point to an involvement of endogenous MCH in the enhanced intake of palatable food. Furthermore, they confirm that MCH stimulates not only food intake but also water intake. ..
  35. Jeon J, Bradley R, Kokkotou E, Marino F, Wang X, Pissios P, et al. MCH-/- mice are resistant to aging-associated increases in body weight and insulin resistance. Diabetes. 2006;55:428-34 pubmed
    ..In contrast, expression of Sir2 was unchanged. In aggregate, these findings suggest that MCH ablation improves the long-term outcome for several indicators of the aging process. ..
  36. Arrigoni E, Mochizuki T, Scammell T. Activation of the basal forebrain by the orexin/hypocretin neurones. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2010;198:223-35 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, orexins and dynorphin may act synergistically in the BF to promote arousal and improve cognitive performance. ..
  37. Pissios P, Ozcan U, Kokkotou E, Okada T, Liew C, Liu S, et al. Melanin concentrating hormone is a novel regulator of islet function and growth. Diabetes. 2007;56:311-9 pubmed
    ..Together, these data provide novel evidence for an autocrine role for MCH in the regulation of beta-cell mass dynamics and in islet secretory function and suggest that MCH is part of a hypothalamic-islet (pancreatic) axis. ..
  38. Guesdon B, Paradis E, Samson P, Richard D. Effects of intracerebroventricular and intra-accumbens melanin-concentrating hormone agonism on food intake and energy expenditure. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009;296:R469-75 pubmed publisher
    ..The present results further delineate the influence of MCH on energy expenditure and substrate oxidation while confirming the key role of the NAcSH in the effects of the MCH system on food intake. ..
  39. Kokkotou E, Moss A, Torres D, Karagiannides I, Cheifetz A, Liu S, et al. Melanin-concentrating hormone as a mediator of intestinal inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:10613-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, these results clearly implicate MCH in inflammatory processes in the intestine and perhaps elsewhere. ..
  40. Audinot V, Zuana O, Fabry N, Ouvry C, Nosjean O, Henlin J, et al. S38151 [p-guanidinobenzoyl-[Des-Gly(10)]-MCH(7-17)] is a potent and selective antagonist at the MCH(1) receptor and has anti-feeding properties in vivo. Peptides. 2009;30:1997-2007 pubmed publisher
    ..This is in agreement with the in vitro data and with our previous demonstration of a good correlation between in vitro and in vivo data on MCH(1) agonists. ..
  41. Bentley G, Jensen J, Kaur G, Wacker D, Tsutsui K, Wingfield J. Rapid inhibition of female sexual behavior by gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH). Horm Behav. 2006;49:550-5 pubmed
    ..These data demonstrate direct effects of GnIH upon reproductive physiology and behavior, possibly via separate actions on two forms of GnRH. ..
  42. Zheng H, Patterson L, Morrison C, Banfield B, Randall J, Browning K, et al. Melanin concentrating hormone innervation of caudal brainstem areas involved in gastrointestinal functions and energy balance. Neuroscience. 2005;135:611-25 pubmed
    ..Projections to ventral medullary sites may play a role in the inhibitory effect of melanin-concentrating hormone on energy expenditure. ..
  43. Cotta Grand N, Rovere C, Guyon A, Cervantes A, Brau F, Nahon J. Melanin-concentrating hormone induces neurite outgrowth in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells through p53 and MAPKinase signaling pathways. Peptides. 2009;30:2014-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Collectively, our results provide the first evidence for a role of MCH in neuronal differentiation of endogenously MCH-R1-expressing cells via non-exclusive MAPKinase and p53 signaling pathways. ..
  44. Peyron C, Sapin E, Leger L, Luppi P, Fort P. Role of the melanin-concentrating hormone neuropeptide in sleep regulation. Peptides. 2009;30:2052-9 pubmed publisher
  45. Sears R, Liu R, Narayanan N, Sharf R, Yeckel M, Laubach M, et al. Regulation of nucleus accumbens activity by the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone. J Neurosci. 2010;30:8263-73 pubmed publisher
    ..The current work integrates the hypothalamus into this model, providing biochemical and cellular mechanisms whereby metabolic and limbic signals converge to regulate food intake. ..
  46. Georgescu D, Sears R, Hommel J, Barrot M, Bolanos C, Marsh D, et al. The hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone acts in the nucleus accumbens to modulate feeding behavior and forced-swim performance. J Neurosci. 2005;25:2933-40 pubmed
    ..This work identifies a novel hypothalamic-AcSh circuit that influences appetitive behavior and mediates the antidepressant activity of MCH1R antagonists. ..
  47. Ubuka T, Bentley G, Ukena K, Wingfield J, Tsutsui K. Melatonin induces the expression of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone in the avian brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:3052-7 pubmed
    ..Melatonin appears to act directly on GnIH neurons through its receptor to induce GnIH expression. This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of a direct action of melatonin on neuropeptide induction in any vertebrate class. ..
  48. Chung S, Hopf F, Nagasaki H, Li C, Belluzzi J, Bonci A, et al. The melanin-concentrating hormone system modulates cocaine reward. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:6772-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the MCH system has an important modulatory role in cocaine reward and reinforcement by potentiating the dopaminergic system in the NAcSh, which may provide a new rationale for treating cocaine addiction. ..
  49. Pissios P, Bradley R, Maratos Flier E. Expanding the scales: The multiple roles of MCH in regulating energy balance and other biological functions. Endocr Rev. 2006;27:606-20 pubmed
  50. Alon T, Friedman J. Late-onset leanness in mice with targeted ablation of melanin concentrating hormone neurons. J Neurosci. 2006;26:389-97 pubmed
    ..This has implications for the pathogenesis of acquired changes of body weight and might be considered in clinical settings characterized by substantial weight changes later in life. ..
  51. Goutagny R, Luppi P, Salvert D, Gervasoni D, Fort P. GABAergic control of hypothalamic melanin-concentrating hormone-containing neurons across the sleep-waking cycle. Neuroreport. 2005;16:1069-73 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that neurons containing melanin-concentrating hormone are not active during waking and that the lack of a potent GABAergic influence during waking is consistent with their role in sleep regulation. ..
  52. Sita L, Elias C, Bittencourt J. Connectivity pattern suggests that incerto-hypothalamic area belongs to the medial hypothalamic system. Neuroscience. 2007;148:949-69 pubmed
    ..The IHy could be an integrative area associated with the regulation of neuroendocrine functions related to motivated behaviors, which are mediated by the medial hypothalamus. ..
  53. Mul J, la Fleur S, Toonen P, Afrasiab Middelman A, Binnekade R, Schetters D, et al. Chronic loss of melanin-concentrating hormone affects motivational aspects of feeding in the rat. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e19600 pubmed publisher
    ..Thereby it provides a crucial signal by which hypothalamic neural circuits control energy balance and guide limbic brain areas to enhance motivational or incentive-related aspects of food consumption. ..