Melanotan II is a non-selective agonist of the melanocortin receptors which was originally developed as a tanning peptide. Hence the reason the peptide was marketed as the “Barbie” peptide with its binding ability to MCR1. Melanotan II is a synthetic cyclic lactam analog of naturally occurring α-MSH (melanocyte- stimulating hormone), a trimmed version of Melanotan I with a longer half-life. Melanocortins (MCs) are multifunctional peptide hormones that regulate a diversity of physiological functions. Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) has been shown to control skin coloration/pigmentation in humans. The pigment melanin is produced in melanosomes by melanocytes in a complex process called melanogenesis. Melanin is the principal determinant factor of skin, hair, and eye color. It has a significant role in photoprotection due to its ability to absorb ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Melanocytes interact intrinsically with endocrine, immune, inflammatory, and central nervous systems. Its activity is regulated by extrinsic factors such as ultraviolet radiation and drugs. Melanotan II has the same mechanism as Melanotan I but does cross the blood-brain barrier. There are five melanocortin receptors MC1R – MC5R. These receptors have been identified to show specific tissue expression patterns and binding affinities for each of the melanocortin hormones. The central melanocortin system MC3R & MC4R receptors play a fundamental role in the control of feeding and body weight.
- Supports Melanogenesis.
- Photo-protection from UV rays and increased protection from melanoma.
- Lessens appetite and improves lipid and glucose regulation.
- Libido enhancement (more of a side effect at a high dose).
- Metabolic Support: Lipolytic, appetite control, anti-inflammatory, lowers oxidative stress.
- Induces enhanced thermogenic and anorexic responses via MC4R binding, and helps improve glucose and cholesterol metabolism.
- Immune – activates Treg cells and improves Th1/Th17 balance.
- Autoimmune conditions.