Cell Proliferation and Gene Expression in Regards to Vilon

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Research

Vilon peptide was developed in the 1990s by researchers at the Institute of Immunology in Moscow, Russia. The development of Vilon was part of a broader research program aimed at developing novel immunomodulatory peptides. The researchers were particularly interested in peptides that could regulate the activity of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a key role in the immune response. After screening many potential peptides, the team identified Vilon as a promising candidate with strong immunomodulatory properties. 

Since its initial discovery, Vilon has been the subject of numerous studies and clinical trials in Russia and other countries. Its potential effect may include interacting with genes, cell proliferation, immune system functioning, coagulation, aging, organ function, and even cancer cells.

Vilon is arguably the shortest peptide to have any biological activity and is made of two amino acids, lysine, and glutamate. This has led to the peptide being recognized as Lysylglutamic acid or Lysylglutamate. Vilon has a chemical formula of C11H21N3O5 and a molecular weight of 275.30 g/mol. The amino acid L-lysine is a positively charged amino acid, while L-glutamate is a negatively charged amino acid. This gives Vilon (Lysylglutamate) an overall neutral charge.

Overall, the structure of Vilon is relatively simple compared to larger peptides and proteins. Still, its unique composition and chemical properties make it an interesting molecule for further study and potential therapeutic development.


Research Studies on the Vilon Peptide


Vilon Peptide and Cell Proliferation, Gene Expression

Studies suggest that Vilon may affect gene expression and, more specifically, programmed cell death (apoptosis). One laboratory experiment reported that the peptide reduced the apoptotic death of spleen lymphocytes in rats caused by irradiation.[1] 

Another study examined the effect of Vilon on cell proliferation in spleen organotypic tissue cultures of rats of different ages (3 days, 3 weeks, and 2 years old). The results suggested that Vilon could stimulate cell proliferation in both young and old rats.[2]

The peptide may achieve this effect by interacting directly with certain genes. Experiments reveal that Vilon may have the ability to modify the chromatin structure of lymphocytes in elderly individuals (aged 75-88 years).[3] This may lead to the release and activation of genes that are otherwise repressed due to aging, and what’s more, may indicate the potential anti-aging properties of Vilon.


Vilon Peptide and Aging

Animal studies reported that administering Vilon (Lys-Glu) to female CBA mice from the 6th month of life might enact physical activity, endurance, and prolonged lifespan while preventing spontaneous neoplasms.[4] According to the study, the administration of Vilon did not appear to affect the estrous function or free radical processes. The long-term use of Vilon did not appear to cause any negative effects on animal development either, indicating that it may be safe for geroprotection and preventing age-related diseases.

Several in vitro studies also report that the peptide may activate regeneration mechanisms in explanted cells in young and aged rats.[5][6] The peptide was reportedly effective, even in ultrasmall doses. The researchers noted that “the stronger effect on the explants taken from the old rats suggests that Vilon is a candidate for geriatric research and practice.

Another study suggested that low-dose ionizing radiation appeared to cause accelerated aging in the thymus and spleen of rats; 7 however, treatment with Vilon appeared to partially inhibit this process and furthermore provided anti-aging benefits. 


Vilon Peptide and the Immune System

Experiments in murine models of immunosuppression report that Vilon may have immunomodulating effects. One animal study examined the effect of Vilon administration in rats exposed to mercury and gamma radiation, which are known to suppress the immune system. The exposure caused lymphopenia and DNA damage, but administration of the Vilon peptide appeared to normalize the lymphocyte count and reduce the morbidity of rats over a period of 15 months after exposure.[8] 

In another trial, Vilon was suggested by researchers to increase the expression of lymphocyte differentiation marker CD5 in thymic cells. It appeared to induce T-cells precursor differentiation towards CD4+ T-helpers.[9] CD4+ T-helper cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in the immune response by activating and coordinating the activity of other immune cells. Vilon was suggested to stimulate the expression of argyrophilic proteins in nucleolar organizer regions of thymocytes and epithelial cells and promote thymocyte transformation into proliferating blast cells.[10] 


Vilon Peptide and Coagulation

The possible effect of the peptide on coagulation is one of the rare effects studied in humans. One study reported that Vilon administration appeared to significantly reduce or eliminate accelerated blood coagulability, decrease levels of natural anti-coagulants, and increase fibrinogen and fibrin complexes in patients with type 1 diabetes.[11] This conclusion was reported despite the effect being less pronounced in elderly patients with severe forms of the disease.

Another trial in elderly patients with type 1 diabetes reported that adding Vilon to the complex therapy appeared to increase natural anticoagulant content, stimulate fibrinolysis, and reduce insulin dosage.[12] Vilon purportedly did so by stabilizing the immune system by normalizing active T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and IgA while reducing T-helpers’ content, T-dependent, and non-T-dependent NK cells. The researchers also reported that “in most cases, Vilon reduced the dose of insulin necessary for the stabilization of carbohydrate metabolism.


Vilon Peptide and Cancer

Vilon was developed as an immunomodulator and has also been studied clinically in treating elderly cancer patients with stage III rectal and colon cancer.[13] Researchers suggested it could improve the 2-year survival rate, prevent post-operative and remote complications, recurrences, and tumor dissemination, as well as improve patients’ quality of life. However, it is important to note that these findings are based on preliminary results and require further investigation. Other than this clinical trial, Vilon has been studied primarily in mice.

According to one murine model of bladder cancer, treatment with the Vilon peptide appeared to reduce the incidence of preneoplastic and early neoplastic changes in urinary bladder mucosa and significantly inhibited carcinogenesis.[14] The incidence of urinary bladder tumors was also reportedly lower in Vilon-treated animals than controls. However, some studies show conflicting results. One animal experiment reports that Vilon treatment appeared to increase the incidence of mammary cancer and shorten the time for tumor development in female transgenic mice.[15] 



Vilon is a synthetically developed peptide comprised of two amino acids with strong immunomodulatory properties. It has been studied extensively since its development and has been suggested to host numerous potential therapeutic properties. While much is still unknown about the mechanisms of action and potential benefits of Vilon, its development represents an important milestone in the search for new tools that interact with immunity, gene expression, and aging.

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  2. Bykov NM, Chalisova NI, Zeziulin PN. Retsiproknye sootnosheniia proliferativenoĭ aktivnosti v tsentral’noĭ i perifericheskoĭ zonakh organotipicheskoĭ kul’tury selezenki pri deĭstvii vilona u krys raznogo vozrasta [Reciprocal relation of proliferative activity in central and peripheral zones of splenic organ culture exposed to vilon in rats of various ages]. Adv Gerontol. 2003;11:104-108.
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