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The melanocortins are a group of peptide hormones which include adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and the different forms of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). They can be synthetic (created in a lab). In humans they can be endogenously produced from proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in the pituitary gland. The melanocortins exert their effects by binding to and activating the melanocortin receptors.

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