What is IGF-1 DES?
IGF-1 DES is a form of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). In this peptide, the N-terminal sequence comprising Glycine-Proline-Glutamine is missing, making it resistant to certain inhibitors, thus increasing its bioavailability. It has ten times greater potency than the untruncated version, with demonstrated roles in promoting hypertrophy and cellular growth. It also induces anabolism in catabolic conditions such as those seen during chronic illnesses, as an anti-inflammatory agent against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and also certain neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.
AKA: Insulin-like growth factor 1, des-(1-3)-, Des(1-3) IGF-1, 4-70-insulin-like growth factor 1
Molecular Formula: C319H495N91O96S7
Molecular Weight: 7365.4225 g/mol
CAS Number: 112603-35-7
IGF-1 DES Is More Potent Than IGF-1
Due to its low binding capacity to IGF-1 binding proteins (IGFBPs), IGF-1 DES is 2-3 times more potent than IGF-1 in lowering blood sugar, is neuroprotective, and has anabolic effects on skeletal muscle cells. It has the desirable qualities of faster clearance from the circulation and quicker and higher peak activity.
These properties make it a desirable option for controlling hyperglycemic conditions so that effects similar to insulin administration can be achieved without the long-term side effects associated with higher doses. Of note, the anabolic effects of IGF-1 DES occur even when the calorie intake is limited, resulting in significant improvements in body weight, nitrogen retention, and food conversion efficiency.
IGF-1 DES Research
IGF-1 aids in promoting neuronal growth and differentiation as well as viability. This is achieved by its ability to promote the synaptic formation, enabling better memory retention. IGF-1 DES also promotes the formation of mature synapses as well as their maintenance. More precisely, they help maintain desired concentrations of presynaptic synapsin-1 protein and post-synaptic PSD-95 protein. These molecules regulate the neurotransmitters released and synaptic structure maintenance, which adversely affect motor skills, behavior, cognitive functioning, and language development.
Clinical trials show that in ALS patients, IGF-1 administration limits disease progression and improves muscular strength and lung functioning. They also have a protective effect on dopaminergic neurons and improve behavioral patterns in Parkinson’s Disease patients. In addition, IGF-1 DES demonstrates help in preserving the neuron density and number of excitatory synapses in the brain in patients of Rett syndrome and chromosome 22 deletion syndrome. These peptides also reduce the toxic effects of NDMA over-stimulation and resultant neuronal death by protecting neurons from excitotoxicity.
IGF-1 DES and Autism
IGF-1 analogs have potent effects on synapses, making them an ideal therapeutic choice for disorders caused by disruptions in synaptic development. These include autism, fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and Angelman syndrome. Low IGF-1 concentrations in the brain have been associated with faulty development and progression of autism. However, IGF-II and analogs like IGF-1 DES can reverse these events, improve social interaction, novel-object recognition, contextual fear conditioning, reduce obsessive behavioral patterns, and improve grooming and memory.
IGF-1 DES May Have Cognitive Benefits in Age
With increasing age, the levels of IGF-1 in the brain decline, affecting learning and memory negatively. Ongoing research suggests that administering IGF-1 DES improves excitatory post-synaptic potential significantly by ~40%, suggesting the peptide’s potential to benefit cognitive function, particularly in age-related synaptic dysfunction. Moreover, IGF-1 DES has better penetration power across the blood-brain barrier than the untruncated protein making them better at enhancing synaptic transmission. This makes them more effective in protecting neurons and reducing neuronal death, thereby protecting against neurological diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.
IGF-1 DES Research and Immune Function
IGF-1 receptors are present on the surface of mononuclear cells and neutrophils. Recent findings have shown that IGF-1 DES can boost hydrogen peroxide release from mononuclear cells and encourage neutrophils to mature into pathogen-killing blastocytes. These effects improve immune function, bringing their potential as an effective adjuvant to antibiotics for inducing immunity against infectious diseases.
IGF-1 DES May Improve Wound Healing
Fibroblast cells present in the dermal layer are responsible for tissue repair in case of any injury. This can be affected by various IGFBPs that bind and reduce the effect of IGF-1 at its other receptors. Certain inflammatory cytokines can also alter IGFBP levels, which may impact healing. However, by administering IGF-1 DES, which remains unaffected by IGFBP, it is easier to overcome these hurdles induced by inflammatory cytokines. The resultant improvement in fibroblast growth and differentiation hastens wound healing.
IGF-1 DES Research and Cancer
Cancerous cells in undifferentiated or early stages of differentiation are difficult to treat and dysfunctional, whereas cells in more differentiated stages grow more slowly. IGF-1 DES can slow cancer growth by promoting the differentiation of certain types of cancerous cells.
IGF-1 DES is different from IGF-1 as it does not bind to IGFBPs, allowing these peptides to cross the blood-brain barrier upon exogenous administration. It promotes skeletal muscle and neuronal growth, neuronal development, and wound healing. Applications in disorders caused due to stroke, cancer, autism, and the like are also being researched.
IGF-1 DES results in some side effects and possesses low oral and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability, as seen in mice models. The per kg dosage in mice does not apply to humans.