The melanin-concentrating hormone system and its physiological functions

Yumiko Saito, Hiroshi Nagasaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

60 Citations (Scopus)


Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide that was originally isolated from salmon pituitary where it causes pigment aggregation. MCH is also abundantly present in mammalian neurons and expressed in the lateral hypothalamus and zona incerta, brain regions that are known to be at the center of feeding behavior. MCH binds to and activates two G protein-coupled receptors, MCH1R and MCH2R. Although MCH2R is non-functional in rodents, genetic and pharmacological studies have demonstrated that rodent MCH1R is involved in the regulation of feeding behavior and energy balance. Unexpectedly, some antagonists have provided evidence that MCH signaling participates in the regulation of other processes, such as emotion and stress. The discovery of MCH receptors has extensively promoted the progress of MCH studies and may represent an ideal example of how deorphanized receptors can open new directions toward more detailed physiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrphan G Protein-Coupled Receptors and Novel Neuropeptides
EditorsOlivier Civelli, Qun-Yong Zhou
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)0080-1844
ISSN (Electronic)1861-0412

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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