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Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) is a neuropeptide created in the arcuate nucleus of the brain that increases appetite and decreases metabolism. It is one of the most potent and long-lasting of appetite stimulators. Understanding the role AgRP plays in weight gain may assist in developing pharmaceutical models for treating obesity.
AGRP has been demonstrated to be an inverse agonist of melanocortin receptors, specifically, MC3 and MC4. This inverse agonism not only antagonizes the action of melanocortin agonists, such as alpha-MSH but also further decreases the cAMP produced by the affected cells.