Coat color darkening in a dog in response to a potent melanotropic peptide.

P. D. Johnson, B. V. Dawson, R. T. Dorr, M. E. Hadley, N. Levine, V. J. Hruby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Analogues of a melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) have been documented to be effective in inducing integumental melanogenesis in several species. These melanotropin analogues are more potent than the natural hormone and have prolonged biological activity, without apparent teratogenic or other toxic effects, at least in rodents. In a pilot study, a cyclic alpha-MSH analogue, Ac-[Nle4, Asp5, D-Phe7, Lys10] alpha-MSH4-10-NH2, was administered SC to a dog at a dose of 1 mg of analogue in 1 ml of 0.9% NaCl for 3 weeks, without noticeable adverse effects. There was gradual and extensive darkening of the coat, which originally was predominantly tan, with tips of black. Initially, the darkening involved face and extremities, then gradually expanded to include the trunk and tail hair. Visual pigmentation peaked approximately 2 months after injections were completed. As new hair growth continued subsequent to the injections, the original tan color appeared at the proximal end of the hair shaft, leaving a dark terminal band on all affected hairs. These observations clearly indicated that follicular melanogenesis can be induced in dogs by treatment with a melanotropic peptide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1593-1596
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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