Selank Studies in Anxiety and Brain Function

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Research

Selank is a short peptide with anxiolytic and nootropic properties, similar to the naturally occurring Tuftsin. Tuftsin is a tetrapeptide that stimulates the immune system. T helper cells, monoamine neurotransmitters, IL-6, and brain-derived neurotrophic factors are all regulated by it (BDNF). Selank peptide only differs from Tuftsin by an extra four amino acids in its chain that induces a longer half-life and improves stability.

Selank can treat anxiety disorders, improves memory and learning, and reduce pain perception.


The Medical Benefits and Functions of Selank Peptide

  • Research shows that Selank is a potent antianxiety and neuroprotective effect for treating anxiety. Selank is structurally and functionally identical to benzodiazepines, allosteric regulators of GABA receptors, and enhancers of GABA inhibitory action. The selank products improve mood, decrease stress, lower anxiety, and positively promote spirit and learning. Low doses of selank have sedating impacts similar to benzodiazepines[1]. However, selank is not addictive and does not result in symptoms of amnesia or withdrawal, unlike benzodiazepines.
  • According to research, 84 genes connect to GABA signalling[2]. Selank potentially regulates seven genes while 45 genes induce change in expression following its administration. The net result shows that 52 genes tied to GABA signalling are impacted by selank to a certain degree, proving that selank directly modulates gene expression in nerve cells and impacts changes by influencing the affinity of the GABA receptor for GABA. The alternating affinity of the receptor explains why selank partners with benzodiazepines and other GABA receptor agonists.
  • Benzodiazepines and Selank individually have the same impacts on anxiety, specifically general anxiety disorder. Selank has quite an advantage over benzodiazepines when reducing high anxiety levels; however, combining both peptides is the best treatment for unpredictable chronic mild stress.
  • The impact of selank on enkephalin degradation can regulate its effects on GABA receptors. According to scientific evidence, patients with anxiety and phobias have increased enkephalinase activity in their blood after stress, resulting in short half-lived enkephalins.
  • Selank resets the enzymatic pathway and protects the natural anxiolytic peptides by inhibiting enkephalin degradation. The research proposes that part of the selank effect is due to its preventive impact on enkephalin degradation.


The Impacts and Functions of Selank Peptide in Memory and Learning

  • Anxiety relates to memory and learning; however, this association is negative as anxiety increases and causes a decrease in the ability to recall memories or store new information. Treating anxiety the traditional way or with Selank can reduce this effect. Using Selank, however, does more than reduce stress and impact cognitive function; Scientists believe selank may directly enhance cognition[3].
  • Training mice with rewards, such as food, after selank injection can boost memory trace stability and storage. Selank’s effect in these mice samples, despite their anxiety levels, shows that the peptide goes a long way to lower stress-related memory impairment.
  • More so, selank can alter memory by regulating gene expression in the hippocampus. Research shows changes in mRNA levels of 36 varying genes following selank administration. Most genes encode proteins relating to the plasma membrane, regulating ion-dependent processes in memory and learning.
  • In a damaged brain, selank can salvage learning and memory. Treating mice samples with neurotoxin and selank shows restoration of cognitive processes. This impact correlates with an artificial inhibition of the catecholamine system in the brain via selank. Scientists believe selank can offer the required methods and cognitive function following traumatic brain injury, specifically in injuries that occur during birth.


How Selank Peptide Impacts Pain Perception

  • Selank inhibits enzymes in the blood that induce enkephalin synthesis, reducing natural enkephalin degradation. Enkephalins are peptides that bind to opioid receptors, reducing the severity of pain. They also regulate human stress response and are at abnormally high levels in the adrenal glands and brain. Therefore, selank modulates stress response and its impacts on learning, concentration, and memory by lowering enkephalin levels in the brain.


The Effects of Selank Peptide on the Immune System following Anxiety

  • Selank suppresses genes that control inflammatory cytokine inflammation, IL-6, in patients with depression. According to research—this impact is only evident in patients with depression, not in healthy individuals[4]. This research suggests that selank can treat patients with anxiety-asthenic disorders, severe disorders in which anxiety relates to headache, fatigue, high blood pressure, nerve pain, depression, and heart palpitations.
  • Although selank and benzodiazepines have similar impacts on anxiety reduction, only selank can treat asthenic symptoms like pain and fatigue—because of the peptide’s ability to regulate IL-6 expression and control the breakdown rate of the body’s natural pain killers—enkephalin.
  • Selank’s research in mice samples shows that the peptide controls the expression of 34 genes that influence the inflammatory process. These genes impact cytokines, chemokines, and both receptors. Specifically, selank modulates Bcl6 expression, a gene that controls immune system development.
  • In addition, selank and selank fragments can temporarily influence gene expression for Xcr1, C3, CAsp1, and II2rf in the mouse spleen. Selank affects the immune system balance and, thus, inflammation by impacting these genes.



Despite the robust benefits of Selank, the peptide impacts mild side effects.

That not withstanding, Selank is a research peptide/chemical limited to scientific and educational purposes, not for human consumption or use.



  1. Medvedev VE, Tereshchenko ON, Israelian AIu, Chobanu IK, Kost NV, Sokolov OIu, Miasoedov NF. [A comparison of the anxiolytic effect and tolerability of selank and phenazepam in the treatment of anxiety disorders]. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2014;114(7):17-22. Russian. PMID: 25176261.
  2. Volkova A, Shadrina M, Kolomin T, Andreeva L, Limborska S, Myasoedov N, Slominsky P. Selank Administration Affects the Expression of Some Genes Involved in GABAergic Neurotransmission. Front Pharmacol. 2016 Feb 18;7:31. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00031. PMID: 26924987; PMCID: PMC4757669.
  3. Semenova TP, Kozlovskaya MM, Zakharova NM, Kozlovskii II, Zuikov AV. Effect of selank on cognitive processes after damage inflicted to the cerebral catecholamine system during early ontogeny. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2007 Nov;144(5):689-91. doi: 10.1007/s10517-007-0406-2. PMID: 18683497.
  4. Uchakina ON, Uchakin PN, Miasoedov NF, Andreeva LA, Shcherbenko VE, Mezentseva MV, Gabaeva MV, Sokolov OIu, Zozulia AA, Ershov FI. [Immunomodulatory effects of selank in patients with anxiety-asthenic disorders]. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2008;108(5):71-5. Russian. PMID: 18577961.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.