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What Is KPV Peptide?
KPV, the C-terminal peptide stretch of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), has been explored for photoprotective properties, effect against ischemia, sexual influences, and benefits on feeding behavior, anti-inflammatory properties, and energy homeostasis. It can be introduced through oral, intravenous, and transdermal routes.
Synonyms: MSH(11-13), ACTH(11-13), alpha-MSH(11-13)
Molecular Formula: C16H30N4O4
Molecular Weight: 342.43 g/mol
PubChem: CID 125672
CAS Number: 67727-97-3
KPV is most relevant in reducing intestinal inflammation. In mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it reduces inflammatory infiltrates, MPO activity, and overall histological evidence of inflammation. KPV helped mice to recover faster and gain weight.
Delivery of KPV using nanoparticles functionalized with hyaluronic acid helps direct its inflammatory to targeted intestinal locations. Thus the suppression of TNF-alpha reduces inflammation and causes mucosal healing in mice. Modifying KPV improves the peptide’s oral bioavailability, potency, and total dose.
Studies have shown the peptide also reduces NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity. TNF-alpha, NF-kappaB, and MAPK inhibition together ameliorate the inflammatory changes in the intestine. Mice administered with KPV have less colonic infiltration and average colon lengths than controls.
KPV as a General Anti-Inflammatory Molecule
Studies in rabbits dating back to 1984 revealed that KPV is a potent anti-inflammatory and fever reducer (antipyretic). However, the peptide had lower potency than the total length alpha-MSH molecule indicating that KPV lacked crucial sequences of alpha-MSH necessary for complete antipyretic activity.
Research showed various analogs of alpha-MSH reduce inflammation in a broad spectrum of diseases such as fever, irritant, allergic contact dermatitis, vasculitis, fibrosis, arthritis, and inflammation of the eyes, brain, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. However, one major drawback has been skin pigmentation which the peptide overcomes. The anti-inflammatory effects of KPV differ from alpha-MSH only marginally. The parent molecule is better at suppressing late inflammatory responses, indicating that it might be influencing immune modulation, which is separate from immediate inflammatory responses marginally.
Wound healing is a complex process that involves three general phases in the wound healing process: inflammatory, proliferative, and remodeling. Most of these cells involved in wound healing express a melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) that binds alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and analogs like KPV and KdPT.
The peptide induces the inflammatory properties without inducing the pigmentation associated with natural scar formation. KPV has both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities. It inhibits the growth of both Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus and helps prevent infection in the setting of severe wounds like burns. This benefit of the peptide is in contrast to other anti-inflammatory medications that inhibit the ability of the body to fight off infection.
KPV can decrease chronic inflammation, which causes hypertrophic scar (e.g., keloid). It is caused by widespread macrophage infiltration, TNF immunoreactivity, and neutrophil abundance Use of alpha-MSH in this setting causes more minor scars and a less harsh inflammatory response. These findings indicate that KPV could be used in preventing the scarring seen with some chemotherapy agents. This process would not only decrease the side effects of cancer treatment but could permit the use of increased concentrations of these medications with better outcomes KPV versus Alpha-MSH.
Alpha-MSH is the more effective molecule of the two but has one serious disadvantage to KPV – it causes skin pigmentation. KPV is the preferred choice because it exhibits the most anti-inflammatory properties but has no side effects. The peptide is also easy to manufacture and thus has commercial and logistic benefits. The anti-inflammatory effects of KPV are mediated through a different pathway compared to those of alpha-MSH. Whereas alpha-MSH binds to specific melanocortin receptors, KPV does not. The peptide can be administered very quickly. KPV can be administered orally, subcutaneously, and via injection without serious side effects in animal models. Diverse routes of administration affect the way the peptide works and where its anti-inflammatory effects are targeted. The ability to alter the delivery method makes it easy for scientists to target different areas within the body for treatment.
KPV is a potent anti-inflammatory peptide that has shown promise in different disease milieus. It has shown immense promise in IBD treatment. In animal studies, the peptide has been shown to be safe and effective when administered through oral, intravenous, and subcutaneous routes. KPV and other alpha-MSH derivatives can bring benefits that enhance wound healing, reduce infection, fight inflammation, and promote improved cosmetic results. KPV and similar peptides could revolutionize wound healing and scar reduction following surgery.
KPV shows minimal side effects and low oral and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability in mice. The dosage in mice (per kg of body weight) does not match 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.