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.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.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in MELANOCYTES. It shows specificity for ALPHA-MSH and ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. Loss of function mutations of the type 1 melanocortin receptor account for the majority of red hair and fair skin recessive traits in human.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 2: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in the ADRENAL CORTEX. It shows specificity for ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE.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.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.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.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.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.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.Hair Color: Color of hair or fur.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.Sebaceous Gland Diseases: Diseases of the sebaceous glands such as sebaceous hyperplasia and sebaceous cell carcinoma (SEBACEOUS GLAND NEOPLASMS).Eating: The consumption of edible substances.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.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.Peptides, Cyclic: Peptides whose amino and carboxy ends are linked together with a peptide bond forming a circular chain. Some of them are ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS. Some of them are biosynthesized non-ribosomally (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NON-RIBOSOMAL).Pigmentation: Coloration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Skin Pigmentation: Coloration of the skin.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.Appetite Regulation: Physiologic mechanisms which regulate or control the appetite and food intake.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.Cosyntropin: A synthetic peptide that is identical to the 24-amino acid segment at the N-terminal of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. ACTH (1-24), a segment similar in all species, contains the biological activity that stimulates production of CORTICOSTEROIDS in the ADRENAL CORTEX.Injections, Intraventricular: Injections into the cerebral ventricles.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.Sebaceous Glands: Small, sacculated organs found within the DERMIS. Each gland has a single duct that emerges from a cluster of oval alveoli. Each alveolus consists of a transparent BASEMENT MEMBRANE enclosing epithelial cells. The ducts from most sebaceous glands open into a HAIR FOLLICLE, but some open on the general surface of the SKIN. Sebaceous glands secrete SEBUM.Appetite Depressants: Agents that are used to suppress appetite.Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus: Nucleus in the anterior part of the HYPOTHALAMUS.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.Feeding Behavior: Behavioral responses or sequences associated with eating including modes of feeding, rhythmic patterns of eating, and time intervals.Arthritis, Gouty: Arthritis, especially of the great toe, as a result of gout. Acute gouty arthritis often is precipitated by trauma, infection, surgery, etc. The initial attacks are usually monoarticular but later attacks are often polyarticular.Energy Metabolism: The chemical reactions involved in the production and utilization of various forms of energy in cells.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.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).Appetite: Natural recurring desire for food. Alterations may be induced by APPETITE DEPRESSANTS or APPETITE STIMULANTS.Asclepias: A plant genus of the family ASCLEPIADACEAE. This is the true milkweed; APOCYNUM & EUPHORBIA hirta are rarely called milkweed. Asclepias asthmatica has been changed to TYLOPHORA.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.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.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Mice, Obese: Mutant mice exhibiting a marked obesity coupled with overeating, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, marked insulin resistance, and infertility when in a homozygous state. They may be inbred or hybrid.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Sebum: The oily substance secreted by SEBACEOUS GLANDS. It is composed of KERATIN, fat, and cellular debris.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Cachexia: General ill health, malnutrition, and weight loss, usually associated with chronic disease.Fourth Ventricle: An irregularly shaped cavity in the RHOMBENCEPHALON, located between the MEDULLA OBLONGATA; the PONS; and the isthmus in front, and the CEREBELLUM behind. It is continuous with the central canal of the cord below and with the CEREBRAL AQUEDUCT above, and through its lateral and median apertures it communicates with the SUBARACHNOID SPACE.Mice, Inbred C57BLReceptors, Peptide: Cell surface receptors that bind peptide messengers with high affinity and regulate intracellular signals which influence the behavior of cells.Feathers: Flat keratinous structures found on the skin surface of birds. Feathers are made partly of a hollow shaft fringed with barbs. They constitute the plumage.Grooming: An animal's cleaning and caring for the body surface. This includes preening, the cleaning and oiling of feathers with the bill or of hair with the tongue.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Third Ventricle: A narrow cleft inferior to the CORPUS CALLOSUM, within the DIENCEPHALON, between the paired thalami. Its floor is formed by the HYPOTHALAMUS, its anterior wall by the lamina terminalis, and its roof by EPENDYMA. It communicates with the FOURTH VENTRICLE by the CEREBRAL AQUEDUCT, and with the LATERAL VENTRICLES by the interventricular foramina.Ligands: A molecule that binds to another molecule, used especially to refer to a small molecule that binds specifically to a larger molecule, e.g., an antigen binding to an antibody, a hormone or neurotransmitter binding to a receptor, or a substrate or allosteric effector binding to an enzyme. Ligands are also molecules that donate or accept a pair of electrons to form a coordinate covalent bond with the central metal atom of a coordination complex. (From Dorland, 27th ed)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)Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C: A serotonin receptor subtype found primarily in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and the CHOROID PLEXUS. This receptor subtype is believed to mediate the anorectic action of SEROTONIN, while selective antagonists of the 5-HT2C receptor appear to induce ANXIETY. Several isoforms of this receptor subtype exist, due to adenine deaminase editing of the receptor mRNA.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Bass: Common name for FISHES belonging to the order Perciformes and occurring in three different families.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Acne Vulgaris: A chronic disorder of the pilosebaceous apparatus associated with an increase in sebum secretion. It is characterized by open comedones (blackheads), closed comedones (whiteheads), and pustular nodules. The cause is unknown, but heredity and age are predisposing factors.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.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Proprotein Convertase 1: A CALCIUM-dependent endopeptidase that has specificity for cleavage at ARGININE that is near paired basic residues. It cleaves a variety of prohormones including PRO-OPIOMELANOCORTIN; PRORENIN; proenkephalins; prodynorphin; prosomatostatin; and PROINSULIN.Binding, Competitive: The interaction of two or more substrates or ligands with the same binding site. The displacement of one by the other is used in quantitative and selective affinity measurements.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.Satiety Response: Behavioral response associated with the achieving of gratification.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.