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

Cytoprotective Effects of β-Melanocortin in the Rat Gastrointestinal Tract

3,* , 3,* , 4
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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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) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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