Theodore N. Mellin

Merck, Whitehouse Station, NJ, United States

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Publications (10)107.92 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Genetic1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and pharmacological6, 9, 10, 11, 12 studies have defined a role for the melanocortin-4 receptor (Mc4r) in the regulation of energy homeostasis. The physiological function of Mc3r, a melanocortin receptor expressed at high levels in the hypothalamus13, has remained unknown. We evaluated the potential role of Mc3r in energy homeostasis by studying Mc3r-deficient (Mc3r -/-) mice and compared the functions of Mc3r and Mc4r in mice deficient for both genes. The 4−6-month Mc3r -/- mice have increased fat mass, reduced lean mass and higher feed efficiency than wild-type littermates, despite being hypophagic and maintaining normal metabolic rates. (Feed efficiency is the ratio of weight gain to food intake.) Consistent with increased fat mass, Mc3r -/- mice are hyperleptinaemic and male Mc3r -/- mice develop mild hyperinsulinaemia. Mc3r -/- mice did not have significantly altered corticosterone or total thyroxine (T4) levels. Mice lacking both Mc3r and Mc4r become significantly heavier than Mc4r -/- mice. We conclude that Mc3r and Mc4r serve non-redundant roles in the regulation of energy homeostasis.
    Nature Genetics 08/2000; 26(1):97-102. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MTII, an agonist of melanocortinergic receptors, is a well-documented anorexigenic agent in rats. Many investigators have reported its effects on feeding without considering concurrent alterations in other behaviors. Accordingly, we performed studies to simultaneously measure nocturnal feeding, drinking, activity, and temperature of rats after intracerebroventricular (third ventricle) administration of a wide dose range of MTII (0.05-500 ng). We observed that MTII modulates these physiological parameters in a dose-dependent manner. Low doses of MTII (0.05 ng) caused reductions in feeding without alterations in body temperature, drinking, or activity. In contrast, hyperthermia and disrupted drinking patterns, along with food intake reductions, were evident at doses exceeding 50 ng. The fact that low doses altered only feeding, whereas higher doses affected a range of parameters, suggests that certain melanocortin-induced behavioral changes may be mediated by distinct populations of melanocortin receptors with varying affinities or that those changes seen at higher doses may be nonspecific in nature.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 08/2000; 89(1):273-82. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuromedin U (NMU) is a neuropeptide with potent activity on smooth muscle which was isolated first from porcine spinal cord and later from other species
    Nature 07/2000; 406(6791):70-74. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the role of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC-4R) in the control of metabolic rate and food intake in mice. Intraperitoneal administration of the non-selective MC-R agonist melanotan II (MT-II; a cyclic heptapeptide) increases metabolic rate in wildtype mice, while MC-4R knockout mice are insensitive to the effects of MT-II on metabolic rate. MC-4R knockout mice are also insensitive to the effects of MT-II on reducing food intake. We conclude that MC-4R can mediate control of both metabolic rate and food intake in mice. We infer that a role for MC-3R in mediating the acute effects of MT-II on basal metabolic rate and food intake in wildtype mice seems limited.
    Transgenic Research 03/2000; 9(2):145-154. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the deletion of stromelysin-1, a single metalloproteinase gene product, will alter the time course and quality of dermal wound repair in mice. After dermal injury, a highly coordinated program of events is initiated by formation of a fibrin clot, followed by migration of keratinocytes, contraction of the dermis, recruitment of inflammatory macrophages, formation of granulation tissue with angiogenesis, and finally tissue remodeling. Matrix metalloproteinases are rapidly induced in the dermis and granulation tissue and at the leading edge of the epidermis in the healing wounds. Incisional and circular full-thickness wounds 2 to 10 mm were made in the dermis of stromelysin-1-deficient and wild-type mice. The wounds were analyzed for rate of cellular migration and epithelialization. The wound contraction was examined by immunohistochemical staining for alpha-smooth muscle actin and fluorescent staining for fibrillar actin. Independent of the age of the animal, excisional wounds in stromelysin-1-deficient mice failed to contract and healed more slowly than those in wild-type mice. Cellular migration and epithelialization were unaffected in the stromelysin-1-deficient animals. The functional defect in these mice is failure of contraction during the first phase of healing because of inadequate organization of actin-rich stromal fibroblasts. Excisional dermal wound healing is impaired in mice with a targeted deletion in the stromelysin-1 gene. Incisional wound healing is not affected. These data implicate stromelysin-1 proteolysis during early wound contraction and indicate that stromelysin-1 is crucial for the organization of a multicellular actin network.
    Annals of Surgery 09/1999; 230(2):260-5. · 6.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanocortinergic neurons are believed to play a role in the control of food intake. Melanocortin receptor agonists and antagonists modulate feeding in several mouse models of chemically and genetically induced hyperphagia. To date, little information is available describing the role of this neurological system in the control of the natural feeding cycle in genetically intact rats. To evaluate the involvement of melanocortins in spontaneous nocturnal feeding, the synthetic melanocortin receptor agonist, MTII and the antagonist, SHU9119 were administered ICV (third ventricle) alone and in combination. Dose-dependent inhibition or stimulation of food intake was observed with MTII or SHU9119, respectively. Co-injections containing equal concentrations of MTII and SHU9119 resulted in food intake that was indistinguishable from controls. Food intake patterns observed in studies in which various dose combinations of MTII and SHU9119 were co-injected are consistent with the concept that both affect feeding by acting on similar melanocortin receptors. The hypothesis that effects of melanocortins on feeding may be mediated via an NPY related pathway was tested by co-injecting MTII and NPY in a 2-h satiated food intake paradigm. MTII inhibited food intake induced by 5.0 microg hNPY in a dose dependent manner with the highest dose tested abolishing the NPY feeding response. The studies suggest that melanocortins act via specific receptors to control food intake in rats, possibly via an NPY related pathway. If similar neurochemical processes operate in humans, selectively modulating specific melanocortin receptor signaling may be an approach to the treatment of human obesity.
    Neuropeptides 01/1999; 32(6):491-7. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A procedure is described for gram-scale refolding of Escherichia coli-derived human leptin inclusion bodies. Refolding was achieved by gradually reducing denaturant using a diafiltration method. Refolded leptin is characterized by in vivo modulation of food intake, reduction in body weight, and lowering of insulin and glucose levels in ob/ob mice. In addition, refolded leptin is characterized by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and activation of the leptin receptor in a cell-based assay. For comparison we also refolded leptin by a simple dilution method and produced periplasmic derived leptin, which did not require ex vivo folding. Leptin produced by these three methods and leptin obtained from commercial sources were compared using the RIA and the cell-based assay and appeared to be of comparable quality and potency.
    Protein Expression and Purification 01/1999; 14(3):335-42. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is a potent mitogenic and chemotactic agent for vascular endothelial cells, dermal fibroblasts, and epidermal keratinocytes, the principal cellular constituents of skin. To explore its potential to heal chronic dermal wounds, we applied pure recombinant human aFGF topically to full-thickness excisional injuries in healing-impaired genetically diabetic mice. Transformation of the nonlinear percent initial wound areas as a function of time to linear rates of tissue ingrowth from the original wound edges showed that aFGF increased wound closure in a dose-dependent manner. Optimal 3-micrograms/cm2 doses of aFGF nearly tripled the linear rate of healing. The median time to complete closure decreased from 46 d in vehicle-treated wounds to only 16 d in those treated with aFGF. Histomorphometric analyses established that aFGF increased granulation tissue formation and reepithelialization throughout healing. Vehicle- and aFGF-treated wounds appeared to be histologically equivalent by the time of closure. Therefore, aFGF has potential therapeutic applications for promoting healing of dermal ulcers, especially in healing-impaired individuals.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 06/1995; 104(5):850-5. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is a potent mitogen in vitro for many cells of ectodermal and mesodermal embryonic origin including skin-derived epidermal keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells. Based on the mitogenic activity for these skin-derived cells, we tested the ability of topically applied aFGF to promote healing of full-thickness dermal wounds in healthy rodents. Low doses of aFGF can produce almost a two-fold maximum acceleration in the rate of closure of full-thickness dermal punch biopsy wounds in young healthy mice and rats. The mitogen also produces a 3 to 4 day acceleration in the time to complete closure in rats. Quantitative histomorphometric analysis of wound tissue shows that aFGF induces a marked stimulation of angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation and the growth of new epithelium, but does not promote dermal contraction. Application of aFGF to linear incisions in rat skin produces a transient increase in wound tensile strength accompanied by enhanced cellularity and deposition of collagen. Therefore, aFGF functions as a pharmacological agent that can accelerate dermal wound healing in rodents and could act therapeutically to promote dermal tissue repair in humans.
    Growth Factors 02/1992; 7(1):1-14. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intravascular injury to arteries can result in thickening of the intimal smooth muscle layer adjacent to the lumen by migration and proliferation of cells from the underlying medial smooth muscle layer accompanied by deposition of extracellular matrix. This pathological response, which decreases lumen diameter, might, in part, be the result of the access of smooth muscle cells to plasma and platelet-derived growth factors as a consequence of denudation of the overlying confluent monolayer of vascular endothelial cells. Injured rat carotid arteries were treated by i.v. administration of acidic fibroblast growth factor, a heparin-binding protein that is chemotactic and mitogenic for vascular endothelial cells. The growth factor treatment resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of intimal thickening with parallel promotion of endothelial regeneration over the injured area. Therefore, acidic fibroblast growth factor might be efficacious in the prevention of restenosis caused by intimal thickening following angioplasty in humans.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/1991; 88(19):8651-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

940 Citations
107.92 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000
    • Merck
      • Department of In Vitro Pharmacology
      Whitehouse Station, NJ, United States