Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones: Peptides with the ability to stimulate pigmented cells MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates. By stimulating the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in these pigmented cells, they increase coloration of skin and other tissue. MSHs, derived from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), are produced by MELANOTROPHS in the INTERMEDIATE LOBE OF PITUITARY; CORTICOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY, and the hypothalamic neurons in the ARCUATE NUCLEUS OF HYPOTHALAMUS.alpha-MSH: A 13-amino acid peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, the N-terminal segment of ACTH. ACTH (1-13) is amidated at the C-terminal to form ACTH (1-13)NH2 which in turn is acetylated to form alpha-MSH in the secretory granules. Alpha-MSH stimulates the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates.Receptors, Corticotropin: Cell surface receptors that bind CORTICOTROPIN; (ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone) with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes. Pharmacology suggests there may be multiple ACTH receptors. An ACTH receptor has been cloned and belongs to a subfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors. In addition to the adrenal cortex, ACTH receptors are found in the brain and immune systems.Receptors, Pituitary Hormone: Cell surface proteins that bind pituitary hormones with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Since many pituitary hormones are also released by neurons as neurotransmitters, these receptors are also found in the nervous system.gamma-MSH: An 11-amino acid peptide derived from the N-terminal fragment of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Gamma-MSH stimulates adrenal steroidogenesis and has an regulatory role in the cardiovascular and the renal systems.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 3: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in BRAIN. It shows specificity for ALPHA-MSH; BETA-MSH; GAMMA-MSH and ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE.Melanophores: Chromatophores (large pigment cells of fish, amphibia, reptiles and many invertebrates) which contain melanin. Short term color changes are brought about by an active redistribution of the melanophores pigment containing organelles (MELANOSOMES). Mammals do not have melanophores; however they have retained smaller pigment cells known as MELANOCYTES.Melanins: Insoluble polymers of TYROSINE derivatives found in and causing darkness in skin (SKIN PIGMENTATION), hair, and feathers providing protection against SUNBURN induced by SUNLIGHT. CAROTENES contribute yellow and red coloration.Melanocytes: Mammalian pigment cells that produce MELANINS, pigments found mainly in the EPIDERMIS, but also in the eyes and the hair, by a process called melanogenesis. Coloration can be altered by the number of melanocytes or the amount of pigment produced and stored in the organelles called MELANOSOMES. The large non-mammalian melanin-containing cells are called MELANOPHORES.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 4: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in BRAIN. It shows specificity for ALPHA-MSH; BETA-MSH and ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE.Receptors, Melanocortin: A family of G-protein-coupled receptors that have specificity for MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES and ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. There are several subtypes of melanocortin receptors, each having a distinct ligand specificity profile and tissue localization.Monophenol Monooxygenase: An enzyme of the oxidoreductase class that catalyzes the reaction between L-tyrosine, L-dopa, and oxygen to yield L-dopa, dopaquinone, and water. It is a copper protein that acts also on catechols, catalyzing some of the same reactions as CATECHOL OXIDASE. EC Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the SELLA TURCICA. It is connected to the HYPOTHALAMUS by a short stalk which is called the INFUNDIBULUM.beta-Lipotropin: A 90-amino acid peptide derived from post-translational processing of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the PITUITARY GLAND and the HYPOTHALAMUS. It is the C-terminal fragment of POMC with lipid-mobilizing activities, such as LIPOLYSIS and steroidogenesis. Depending on the species and the tissue sites, beta-LPH may be further processed to yield active peptides including GAMMA-LIPOTROPIN; BETA-MSH; and ENDORPHINS.Melanoma: A malignant neoplasm derived from cells that are capable of forming melanin, which may occur in the skin of any part of the body, in the eye, or, rarely, in the mucous membranes of the genitalia, anus, oral cavity, or other sites. It occurs mostly in adults and may originate de novo or from a pigmented nevus or malignant lentigo. Melanomas frequently metastasize widely, and the regional lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and brain are likely to be involved. The incidence of malignant skin melanomas is rising rapidly in all parts of the world. (Stedman, 25th ed; from Rook et al., Textbook of Dermatology, 4th ed, p2445)Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.