Melanotan 2 SPECIFICATIONS
Molecular Formula: C50H69N15O9
Molecular Weight: 1024.19 g/mol
PubChem: CID 92432
CAS Number: 121062-08-6
What is Melanotan 2 Peptide?
Melanotan 2 (MT-2) is a synthetic analog of the human alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). A study conducted at the University of Arizona observed the involvement of alpha-MSH in skin darkening and sexual arousal in rodents. This finding then led to the development of MT-2 in the 1980s by a team of researchers at the university. Originally formulated as a sunless tanning agent, MT-2 was eventually to have multiple functions such as:
– induce skin tanning,
– increasing sexual stimulation,
– decreasing compulsive behavior,
– controlling addiction,
– regulating hunger,
– reducing glucagon synthesis
– reversing traits of autism.
Melanotan 2 and Melanocortin Signaling
Melanotan 2 associates with melanocortin receptors to mediate its biological function. There are five known melanocortin receptors, each involved in a different function. MT-2 binds essentially to MC-4R and MC-1R and weakly to MC-3R.
– MC-1R: Exists on melanocytes; stimulation of MC-1R triggers hair and skin darkening.
– MC-2R: Found in the adrenal glands, stimulates the secretion of adrenal hormones, such as cortisol after binding of cognate ligand.
– MC-3R: MC-3R has been observed to regulate appetite control and energy regulation, but we don’t have further details about this receptor.
– MC-4R: Stimulation of MC-4R causes changes in feeding and sexual action, male erectile function, and energy homeostasis.
– MC-5R: MC-5R is expressed in sweat glands and islet cells of the pancreas.
MT-2 and Autism
Autism, though incurable, can be managed with oxytocin treatment. MT-2, which is known to promote oxytocin release, was studied in murine model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).The work aimed to explore the possibility of autism management using MT-2. The peptide administration helps reverse the decreased communication, affected social interaction, and repetitive behavior observed in the affected mice. At a molecular level, MT-2 treatment enhanced the expression of oxytocin receptors in the affected areas of the mice brain, thus establishing a direct correlation between ASD-mediated behavior and oxytocin signaling.
The studies highlight the specific hormonal pathways that trigger the development of the disease and novel therapeutic pathways to combat ASD. Thus researchers can develop a complete model of ASD, which would be useful in both prevention and treatment of the condition.
Melanotan 2, Impulse Control and Alcohol Intake
MC-4R receptor has been observed to influence impulse control. Previous findings show that MT-2 administration promotes water uptake and reduces the consumption of alcohol in rats that prefer alcohol consumption. Naltrexone and Melanotan 2 combination suppresses binge uptake of ethanol in rats synergistically up to seven-fold.
The various observations show that the peptide regulates the basic process of desire and craving in the mammalian brain apart from being effective in alcohol-associated disorders. Hence, it gives a deeper understanding of oxytocin regulation in impulsive behavior. This can further help in lifestyle changes of human beings ranging from work to relationships.
MT-2 and Hunger
MT-2 has been observed to regulate food preference, hunger behavior, and fat storage in animal models through interaction with the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC-4R). MT-2 acts as an agonist for MC-4R. Mice treated with MT-2 not only take up significantly less food but also ignore fatty foods in terms of their preference. Similarly, mice mutant of the MC-4R receptor consume fatty foods almost exclusively and are resistant to the effects of the Melanotan 2 peptide.
The effects of MT-2 can be compared to those of the hormone leptin, sometimes known as “the satiety hormone,” because it controls cravings and food intake. Leptin, however, has never been successful in the treatment of obesity, even in leptin-deficient individuals. This is likely due to the presence of two pathways for satiety, called leptin-dependent and leptin-independent pathways. Research suggests MT-2 stimulates the pathways and therefore is more effective in controlling hunger. The observation confirmed that MC-4R stimulation by MT-2 also induces gene expression of the leptin target thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). Both MT-2 and leptin induce expression of TRH in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, a region of the brain which regulates feelings of satiety and food intake. However, only elevated levels of MT-2 can cross into the central nervous system to influence TRH expression.
Melanotan 2 and Diabetes
Elevated blood sugar levels, hypersecretion of glucagon hormones, and production of ketone bodies mark the pathogenesis of diabetes. Leptin is known to counteract these pathogenic alterations. The mode of action of leptin is independent of insulin and hence is explored as an alternative treatment for diabetes.
Scientific proof shows that leptin and MT-2 mediate similar effects through melanocortin receptors. This is significant as leptin’s mode of action is restricted to the brain, and it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier as readily as MT-2. Thus, exogenous leptin cannot reach CNS, and thereby its efficacy as a drug is limited. This makes Melanotan 2 peptide a preferred treatment choice for a more effective outcome.
Erectile Dysfunction Research
Vascular issues often contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED). ED can be effectively treated usinng sildenafil (Viagra) and other drugs that improve blood flow to the erectile muscles and reduce vascular resistance. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often attributed to vascular issues. ED can be effectively treated in most men via sildenafil (Viagra) and other drugs that improve blood flow by reducing vascular resistance. However, all forms of ED do not stem from vascular resistance. Hence Viagra is not effective against such forms of ED as well as against hypoactive sexual desire disorder in the majority of women. MT-2 is an effective alternative due to its influence on CNS. About eighty percent of men with ED who did not respond to Viagra have shown improvement upon MT-2 use. The peptide has also been actively studied to treat both male and female sexual desire disorders.
Future MT-2 Research
Melanotan 2 is an extensively studied peptide, specifically for human behavior, impulse control, and sexual desire. The peptide, in different forms, has been investigated in clinical trials, though challenges with routes of administration have forced scientists to reconsider its clinical use. There is active and ongoing research to unravel the benefits of this particular peptide.
MT-2 exhibits minimal to moderate side effects, low oral bioavailability, and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability in mice. The administered dosage (per kg) in mice does not match the dosage required for humans.