Melanotan is a peptide hormone belonging to the alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) class of mimetics. Melanotan is a synthetic analog pituitary derived Melanocortin. The peptide is primarily known for its ability to help with tanning but is also used to aid in erectile function. Melanotan, also referred to as MT-2, has no use of significance beyond tanning and erectile function.
Melanotan (MT-2) functions by stimulating the alpha-MSH receptor. This is a receptor that produces melanin, which aids in the darkening of skin pigmentation. Because of this action, the individual will tan easier and darker than he would without the use of MT-2.
There are several alpha-MSH receptors in the body. Melanotan functions by stimulating the MC1-5 receptor. Stimulation of this receptor promotes darkening of the skin. MT-2 also stimulates the MC4 receptor, which acts to increase penile erectile function.