PT-141 is a heavily modified derivative of a natural hormone called alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH). In the most general sense, PT-141 works directly through the nervous system to increase sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction. It does this by mimicking some, but not all, of the properties of α-MSH. To understand in more detail how does PT-141 work, it is necessary to understand the melanocortin system and the peptides that interact with it.
In the quest to understand how PT-141-works, it is necessary to understand how the melanocortin system works. All melanocortin’s are peptide hormones, which is to say proteins (made up of amino acids). The group gets its name from the parent molecule, proopiomelanocortin (POMC), that all other melanocortin’s are derived from. POMC is made in the pituitary gland, which is part of the brain and a critical center for controlling growth, the sleep/wake cycle, sexual desire, hunger, and more. Natural melanocortin’s made from POMC include melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). MSH has long been associated with sexual arousal and changes in appetite.