Melanotan 1 (MT1) and its counterpart melanotan 2 (MT2) are synthetic derivatives of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH). Both peptides bind to melanocortin receptors to produce a variety of interesting effects. Of note, both MT1 and MT2 have an impact on melanin expression and thus skin pigmentation. Both also affect sexual arousal, feeding behavior, blood pressure, central nervous system function, and willpower. Given that they are so similar in terms of function, it should come as no surprise that searches for melanotan 1 vs 2 are exceptionally common. Below is a look at how these peptides stack up against one another because even though they are similar in many ways there are also a host of differences in melanotan 1 vs 2.
There are clearly similarities in these two molecules if they are looked at from a higher level. Both affect the skin, central nervous system, and certain aspects of metabolism. Closer inspection reveals that there are nuances within these categories that distinguish melanotan 1 vs 2. These nuances are likely due to specific patterns of receptor binding and will hopefully help researchers to better understand how subtle differences in binding affinities for multiple receptors can fine-tune an entire system. In other words, melanotan 1 vs 2 differences have helped to expand upon the simple on/off dichotomy of early biological thinking. Individual receptors may simply be turned on or off, but entire systems can be gently tuned by turning on or off different numbers of receptors and different types of receptors to produce a spectrum of emergent effects.