[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a regulator of many physiological processes that has neuroprotective characteristics.
In this work, we showed the expression of the melanocortin receptor MC4R in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes. We found
a twofold increase in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in cultured rat hippocampal astrocytes in one hour
after application of α-MSH at concentrations of 0.1 to 10 nM. The selective MC4R antagonist HS028 prevented stimulation of
VEGF expression. These data suggest that the neuroprotective effects of α-MSH may be mediated by the stimulation of production
of growth/neurotrophic factors in hippocampal astrocytes.