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What is the GHRP-6 peptide?
GHRP-6 peptide is studied for its potential as a powerful stimulant that helps release natural growth hormone (GH) from the anterior pituitary gland. In addition, it may also act as a ghrelin/growth hormone receptor agonist and is amongst the ghrelin analogs developed in recent decades. It has been observed to deliver a positive influence on cardiac muscle cells, scar formation, memory formation, sex motivation, and the neurons associated with Parkinson’s disease. The peptide is orally and sublingually active and moderately to highly specific in its action.
Molecular Formula: C46H56N12O6
Molecular Weight: 873.032 g/mol
PubChem: CID 9919153
CAS Number: 87616-84-0
GHRP-6 Peptide and Parkinson’s
A study conducted in 2018 highlighted the prevalence of ghrelin receptors in substantia nigra, a part of the brain known to get affected in Parkinson’s disease. Patients genetically predisposed to the disease also showed a significant reduction in ghrelin receptors in their substantia nigra. It was observed that genetically modulated rats also exhibit Parkinson’s symptoms when an antagonist is administered. Therefore, agonists like GHRP-6 may be potentially beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Scientists hypothesize that the peptide associated with receptors present in the substantia nigra decreases neuronal apoptosis and thus may subside or ameliorate the onset of this disease.
GHRP-6 and Brain Tissue Protection
The role of the GHRP-6 peptide in the amelioration of stroke has been studied using appropriate animal models. The timely administration of the peptide appears to protect the brain tissue from reduced blood supply (following a stroke) and may help in recovery from memory lapses due to stroke. At a molecular level, the peptide and its analogs may prevent apoptosis of neurons of the central nervous system which would prevent genetic reprogramming and inflammation.
GHRP-6 and Memory
Scientists have been investigating the role of physical activity in learning and memory formation. It has been observed that physical activity such as exercise helps to enhance cognitive learning, particularly when it is done immediately following a learning activity. However, the precise mechanism remains unknown. Initially, exercise was thought to help cognition through improved blood circulation in the brain and increased growth hormone production. Studies on rodent models have highlighted how GHRP-6 may help to consolidate newly created memories and transform short-term memories into long-term storage. Significant scientific observations further posit the beneficial role of ghrelin/GHRP-6 in spatial learning tasks. Growth hormone secretagogues such as ghrelin may bring about exercise-induced cognitive improvements. Hence, the role of GH may be possibly indirect and perhaps secondary to these peptides.
GHRP-6 and Cardiac Issues
The GHRP-6 peptide was observed to inhibit free radical-mediated cytotoxicity of cardiac cells in porcine models. It may be used to develop medicines to protect the viable cardiac tissues from damage after cardiac arrest. Such a medication would be helpful not only in reducing the chances of death but also in overcoming any long-term adverse effects caused by cardiac arrest.
GHRP-6 and Sex Motivation, Mood
Studies on male rats have observed the role of ghrelin receptors in the central nervous system in modulating sexual behavior and motivation. Increased amounts of ghrelin have appeared to stimulate sexual impulses. GHRP-6 and its modified counterpart (which may antagonize the ghrelin receptor) have suggested that ghrelin receptors in specific brain areas may influence sexual and reward-seeking conduct. There is also data to suggest that ghrelin may influence mood as part of its impact on motivation. The peptide and its analogs appear to help improve brain function associated with lifting moods, stress relief, and overcoming depression in murine models. GHRP-6 may therefore have the potential to treat stress, depression, anxiety, and related mood disorders.
GHRP-6 and Scarring, Skin Improvement
GHRP-6 researchers hypothesize the peptide may have to potential to aid in the survival of diverse kinds of cells by decreasing programmed cell death. The peptide is also associated with the CD36 receptor and may help to promote blood vessel growth, particularly in wounds. Experiments with GHRP-6 and rat models also suggest it may be effective in faster wound closure in rats. It appears to help in rapid wound healing and the formation of extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, promoting the overall correct organization of tissue around a scar and thus reducing the appearance of scar marks. Hypertrophic scars, like keloids, occur due to improper deposition of matrix proteins. Scientists suggest that GHRP-6 may block this aberrant wound healing process, and would be potentially useful for people who delay surgery to avoid such painful after-effects and aesthetic changes. Studies in GHRP-6 have reported minimal to moderate side effects, low oral bioavailability, and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability in murine models of study. The dosage (per kg) required in mice does not match up to that required for humans.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.
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