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"Characterization of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) signaling pathways and analysis of hormonal influence on the function of the MCH peptidergic system in mammary epithelial cell culture"

Grant number: 18/11527-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal Investigator:Jackson Cioni Bittencourt
Grantee:Sandra Alves Barreto Barbosa
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/02224-1 - The existence of neurogenesis during the lactation period, AP.TEM


The melanin-concentrating hormone [MCH] is a rodent nonadecapeptide predominantly synthesized in the hypothalamus and widely distributed throughout the CNS, in addition to being synthesized in peripheral tissues. Two subtypes of MCH receptors were identified: MCHR1 and MCHR2, which have a wide central and peripheral distribution. Only during lactation is there an expression of MCH in important regions for maternal behavior [MB], such as the medial preoptic area [MPOA], suggesting that MCH plays an important role in the physiological process of lactation. Since MCH is found in various peripheral tissues, it could bind to MCHR1 in breast tissue and modulate milk ejection. However, the mechanisms of action of MCH in breast tissue are not known. Objective: to identify and characterize the signaling pathways of the MCH peptidergic system [via MCHR1] in mammary epithelial cells and to analyze the hormonal influence on the function of this system. Material and methods: murine mammary tissue from Balb/c females will be collected for primary culture, total proteins will be extracted from the culture and submitted to Western blot and Phos-TagTM technique. The EpH4 epithelial cell line will be cultured for the study of mammary cell differentiation. Preliminary results: the results found in the project confirmed the presence of MCHR1 in mammary cells of lactating rats. In addition, we confirmed the presence of MCHR1-ir cells in human breasts. These data indicate the presence of an anatomical substrate for MCH activity in breast tissue, possibly in lactation control. Conclusion: This project will elucidate the role of the MCH peptidergic system at different stages of mammalian tissue development and differentiation, which are extremely important for the maintenance and survival of mammals.

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