Agouti-Related Protein: A secreted protein of approximately 131 amino acids that is related to AGOUTI SIGNALING PROTEIN and is also an antagonist of MELANOCORTIN RECEPTOR activity. It is expressed primarily in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the ADRENAL GLAND. As a paracrine signaling molecule, AGRP is known to regulate food intake and body weight. Elevated AGRP has been associated with OBESITY.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 4: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in BRAIN. It shows specificity for ALPHA-MSH; BETA-MSH and ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE.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.Agouti Signaling Protein: A secreted protein of approximately 131 amino acids (depending on species) that regulates the synthesis of eumelanin (brown/black) pigments in MELANOCYTES. Agouti protein antagonizes the signaling of MELANOCORTIN RECEPTORS and has wide distribution including ADIPOSE TISSUE; GONADS; and HEART. Its overexpression in agouti mice results in uniform yellow coat color, OBESITY, and metabolic defects similar to type II diabetes in humans.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.Pro-Opiomelanocortin: A 30-kDa protein synthesized primarily in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND and the HYPOTHALAMUS. It is also found in the skin and other peripheral tissues. Depending on species and tissues, POMC is cleaved by PROHORMONE CONVERTASES yielding various active peptides including ACTH; BETA-LIPOTROPIN; ENDORPHINS; MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES; and others (GAMMA-LPH; CORTICOTROPIN-LIKE INTERMEDIATE LOBE PEPTIDE; N-terminal peptide of POMC or NPP).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.Melanocortins: Peptides derived from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) which can stimulate MELANOCYTES or CORTICOTROPHS. Melanocortins include ACTH; ALPHA-MSH; and other peptides such as BETA-MSH and GAMMA-MSH, derived from other fragments of POMC. These peptides act through a variety of MELANOCORTIN RECEPTORS to control different functions including steroidogenesis, energy homeostasis, feeding, and skin pigmentation.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.Neuropeptide Y: A 36-amino acid peptide present in many organs and in many sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. It has vasoconstrictor and natriuretic activity and regulates local blood flow, glandular secretion, and smooth muscle activity. The peptide also stimulates feeding and drinking behavior and influences secretion of pituitary hormones.Arcuate Nucleus: A nucleus located in the middle hypothalamus in the most ventral part of the third ventricle near the entrance of the infundibular recess. Its small cells are in close contact with the ependyma.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.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.Eating: The consumption of edible substances.Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins: Regulatory proteins and peptides that are signaling molecules involved in the process of PARACRINE COMMUNICATION. They are generally considered factors that are expressed by one cell and are responded to by receptors on another nearby cell. They are distinguished from HORMONES in that their actions are local rather than distal.Appetite Regulation: Physiologic mechanisms which regulate or control the appetite and food intake.Leptin: A 16-kDa peptide hormone secreted from WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Leptin serves as a feedback signal from fat cells to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM in regulation of food intake, energy balance, and fat storage.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.Cystine-Knot Miniproteins: A structurally-related family of small proteins that form a stable tertiary fold pattern which is supported by a series of disulfide bonds. The arrangement of disulfide bonds between the CYSTEINE moieties results in a knotted structure which is unique to this family of proteins.beta-MSH: An 18-amino acid peptide that is the C-terminal fragment of gamma-lipotropin which is the N-terminal fragment of BETA-LIPOTROPIN. Beta-MSH is shown to regulate skin pigmentation, steroid production, and feeding.Feeding Behavior: Behavioral responses or sequences associated with eating including modes of feeding, rhythmic patterns of eating, and time intervals.Hyperphagia: Ingestion of a greater than optimal quantity of food.Hypothalamic Hormones: Peptide hormones produced by NEURONS of various regions in the HYPOTHALAMUS. They are released into the pituitary portal circulation to stimulate or inhibit PITUITARY GLAND functions. VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN, though produced in the hypothalamus, are not included here for they are transported down the AXONS to the POSTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY before being released into the portal circulation.Energy Metabolism: The chemical reactions involved in the production and utilization of various forms of energy in cells.Receptors, Leptin: Cell surface receptors for obesity factor (LEPTIN), a hormone secreted by the WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Upon leptin-receptor interaction, the signal is mediated through the JAK2/STAT3 pathway to regulate food intake, energy balance and fat storage.Injections, Intraventricular: Injections into the cerebral ventricles.Pituitary Hormones: Hormones secreted by the PITUITARY GLAND including those from the anterior lobe (adenohypophysis), the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis), and the ill-defined intermediate lobe. Structurally, they include small peptides, proteins, and glycoproteins. They are under the regulation of neural signals (NEUROTRANSMITTERS) or neuroendocrine signals (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) from the hypothalamus as well as feedback from their targets such as ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES; ANDROGENS; ESTROGENS.Appetite: Natural recurring desire for food. Alterations may be induced by APPETITE DEPRESSANTS or APPETITE STIMULANTS.Ghrelin: A 28-amino acid, acylated, orexigenic peptide that is a ligand for GROWTH HORMONE SECRETAGOGUE RECEPTORS. Ghrelin is widely expressed but primarily in the stomach in the adults. Ghrelin acts centrally to stimulate growth hormone secretion and food intake, and peripherally to regulate energy homeostasis. Its large precursor protein, known as appetite-regulating hormone or motilin-related peptide, contains ghrelin and obestatin.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Fasting: Abstaining from all food.Obesity: A status with BODY WEIGHT that is grossly above the acceptable or desirable weight, usually due to accumulation of excess FATS in the body. The standards may vary with age, sex, genetic or cultural background. In the BODY MASS INDEX, a BMI greater than 30.0 kg/m2 is considered obese, and a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2 is considered morbidly obese (MORBID OBESITY).Anorexia: The lack or loss of APPETITE accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder ANOREXIA NERVOSA.Mice, Inbred C57BLMice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.