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Molecules 2012, 17(10), 11680-11692; doi:10.3390/molecules171011680
Article

Cytoprotective Effects of β-Melanocortin in the Rat Gastrointestinal Tract

1
,
2
,
3,* , 3,* , 4
,
5
 and
6
1 Department of Dermatology and Venerology, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Šalata 4, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia 2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Domagojeva 2, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia 3 Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia 4 University Hospital Dubrava, Avenija Gojka Šuška 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia 5 Department of Pulmology, University Hospital Canter Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia 6 Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2012 / Revised: 19 September 2012 / Accepted: 26 September 2012 / Published: 1 October 2012
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Abstract

Recently discovered anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of melanocortin peptides led to the conclusion that they might serve as new anti-inflammatory therapeutics. The purpose of this work was to examine the effectiveness of β-melanocortin (β-MSH) in two experimental models: ethanol-induced gastric lesions and TNBS (2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid)-induced colitis in male Wistar rats. Three progressive doses of β-MSH were used: 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 mg/kg. Our results suggest that β-MSH acts as a protective substance in the gastric lesions model, which can be seen as a statistically significant reduction of hemorrhagic lesions at all three doses, compared to the control group. The most efficient dose was 0.250 mg/kg. Statistically significant reduction in mucosal surface affected by necrosis and the reduction of overall degree of inflammation in the colitis model indicates an anti-inflammatory effect of β-MSH at a dose of 0.250 mg/kg. The results justify further research on β-MSH peptide and its derivates in the inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, and point out the possibility of using β-MSH in studies of digestive system pharmacology.
Keywords: β-melanocortin; cytoprotection; gastritis; colitis; TNBS; hepatoprotection β-melanocortin; cytoprotection; gastritis; colitis; TNBS; hepatoprotection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Bradamante, M.; Turčić, P.; Štambuk, N.; Konjevoda, P.; Aralica, G.; Alerić, I.; Kozmar, A. Cytoprotective Effects of β-Melanocortin in the Rat Gastrointestinal Tract. Molecules 2012, 17, 11680-11692.

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