T Nation

Melanocortin-2


#1

Receptor Agonists and Steroidogenesis

I have recently aquired an interest in the melanocortin family of small peptides. From what I have garnered, not much is known amongst the general population regarding their broad range of effects. For those who are interested, the receptor family has been studied for <20 years now and their biological effects are as follows:

MC-1R -> pigmentation, inflammation
MC-2R -> steroidogenesis
MC-3R -> energy homeostasis
MC-4R -> energy homeostasis, food intake, sexual function
MC-5R -> exocrine gland secretion

A quick search for "PT-141" on wikipedia will reveal the next "viagra for both sexes" that is currently in phase III clincal trails. It is a MC-4R agonist, is quite interesting but should be discussed in another thread. MC-1R agonists may also hit the market at some point as sunless tanning agents; they have been studied extensively in vivo, and work.

However as the topic of this thread suggests, MC-2R agonists represent a potential way to induce steroidogenesis in your own body. The MC-2R is also known as the adrenocorticotropic receptor, located in the brain and is part of the HPA axis. Basically from what I can garner it is directly related to stimulating your pituitary gland to making more steroids. There's not much info in the search engines, but this site provides some:

http://www.ihop-net.org/UniPub/iHOP/bng/122703.html

However those with access to a journal search engine can find more information. These papers are informative:

Molecular biology of the HPA axis. Abel, Kirsten-Berit; Majzoub, Joseph A. Division of Endocrinology, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Techniques in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences (2005)

and

DIAGNOSTICS AND THERAPEUTICS FOR DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH G PROTEIN-COUPLED RECEPTOR MC2 (MC2) in the European patent office database, anyone can see this...

So I was wondering if anyone here has also looked into this pathway (MC-2R and selective MC-2R agonists) as a possible way of inducing your body to make more steroidal hormones?

The agonists themselves are not hard to make for someone with access to solid-phase peptide synthesis equipment, so it's not as if we're talking about some ridiculous molecules that would be excessively hard to acquire for certain persons. If anyone is interested in or has unique knowledge of, has personal experience with this, or wants to contribute to the thread - please do so. PMs especially welcome.