The invention provides polypeptides containing .alpha.-MSH that can be
used to treat diseases characterized by inflammation and/or autoimmunity.
Also included in the invention are .alpha.-MSH analogs and nucleic acids
encoding polypeptides containing .alpha.-MSH and .alpha.-MSH analogs
optionally linked to heterologous sequences. Also included in the
invention are methods of delivering .alpha.-MSH containing peptides,
.alpha.-MSH analogs, an DNA encoding .alpha.-MSH and .alpha.-MSH analogs.