Release of immunoreactive α-MSH by synaptosome-enriched fractions of homogenates of hypothalami

Jørgen Warberg, Charles Oliver, Ayalla Barnea, C. Richard Parker, John C. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Immunoreactive α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) was found to be concentrated in a synaptosome-enriched fraction prepared by differential centrifugation of rat hypothalamic homogenates. The release of the hormone from this preparation was investigated. After incubation, the synaptosomes were isolated by ultrafiltration and α-MSH in the ultrafiltrate was determined by radioimmunoassay. Particle-bound α-MSH, recovered by extraction with acid ethanol, and α-MSH released from the synaptosome preparation, were immunologically similar to synthetic α-MSH and had an accompanying melanotropic activity. Less than 10% of the particle-bound α-MSH was released during incubation in 0.32 M sucrose. However, in the presence of 2 mM Ca2+, α-MSH release increased with increasing concentrations (30-150 mM) of K+. The stimulatory effect of 60 mM K+ was complete within 2 min and was potentiated by increasing Ca2+ concentrations over the range of 0 to 2 mM. K+-induced release of α-MSH was independent of temperature from 1 to 30°C, and neither glucose (10 mM) nor dopamine (10-10-10-2 M) had any effect on the release of the peptide. It is concluded that a synaptosome-enriched fraction from the hypothalamus contains a releasable pool of immunoreactive α-MSH that is mobilized by depolarizing concentrations of K+ in a Ca2+-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 19 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Release of immunoreactive α-MSH by synaptosome-enriched fractions of homogenates of hypothalami'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this