Because of its immunological potential, Epithalon is a peptide widely researched in scientific studies.
According to research studies, the following four amino acids are what make up the synthetic tetrapeptide known as Epithalon:
- Ala (also known as Ala)
- Glutamic acid (also known as Glu).
- Aspartic acid (also known as Asp)
- Glycine, sometimes called Gly.
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It is also referred to by the names Epitalon and AEDG, which are acronyms for the amino acids that it contains. Because it contains less than 20 different amino acids, the compound known as Epithalon is classified as an oligopeptide [i].
The thymus gland produces the polypeptide known as epithalamin, which is where this peptide is derived from. It has been hypothesized that because of its diminutive size, this peptide might penetrate cells and the nucleus of cells, where it has been suggested to induce and stabilize DNA telomere lengthening and, as a result, potentially extend the period that cells may survive in vitro. Studies conducted on animals have suggested a correlation between this and increased lifespans [i]. Melatonin synthesis is another process that is believed to be encouraged by Epithalon.
The pineal gland is the most important source of melatonin, although it is not the sole source. Melatonin is vital in regulating circadian biological activities, the most notable of which is the sleep cycle. In addition, it may potentially aid in regulating blood pressure and the autonomic cardiovascular system, boost immunological function, and lower inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Some data suggests that prenatal and early central nervous system development may be affected by melatonin.
A recently published study purported that Epithalon may have great potential in various settings due to its alleged ability to increase both the length of telomeres and melatonin levels.
Epithalon Peptide Properties
As a class, oligopeptides have various properties because of their short length. It has been suggested that they contribute to the transmission of biological information, govern metabolic processes, and influence the processes of cell reproduction and death [ii].
It would seem that Epithalon may benefit aid health and the management of certain disorders. Most research on the peptide has been conducted on animals [ii]. The outcomes of Epithalon research to date are summarized here for your convenience.
Epithalon Peptide and Cell Longevity and Health
It has been purported that Epithalon may boost telomerase activity, leading to a lengthening of DNA telomeres. Telomeres have been suggested to have a protective function in keeping the integrity of DNA, and it has been speculated that longer telomeres are connected with prolonged cell survival. The process of aging and repetitive cell reproduction both tend to shorten their lengths [ii].
Mice with their telomeres artificially lengthened appeared to tolerate glucose better, have lower LDL cholesterol levels, and exhibit less DNA damage with age. In addition, they seemed to live longer and have a decreased risk of developing cancer [iii].
In a study that lasted for 15 years, researchers suggested that older test subjects who were given intermittent quantities of Epithalamin, which is the natural polypeptide source of Epithalon, appeared to have had longer survival rates, better cardiovascular health, fewer pulmonary illnesses, improved carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and better physical endurance than controls [iv].
Studies conducted on animals and in vitro purport that Epithalon may possibly mitigate the instances of breast cancer cell development, which is connected to the telomerase activity of the compound [v].
Epithalon Peptide and Melanin Production
It is believed that the hormone melatonin may largely regulate circadian rhythms. In addition to sustaining a regular sleep-wake cycle, melatonin is considered essential in controlling autonomic functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, as well as regulating immunological response and glucose homeostasis.
It has been implied that the presentation of Epithalon may cause an increase in the circadian secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland and improve the fading secretion pattern in aged research models [vi].
Epithalon Peptide and the Neurologic System
Scientists have hypothesized that Epithalon and melatonin might restore normal circadian rhythm of gonadotropin-releasing hormone [vii], which may mitigate various age-related neuroendocrine dysfunction features.
Epithalon has also been speculated to boost neurogenesis and help mice with retinitis pigmentosa [viii, ix]. Further epigenetic data suggests that Epithalon may potentially alter gene expression in neuron development [v].
There are a lot of unexplored territories in the field of Epithalon research that need to be looked into. To this day, the only comprehensive information that is accessible about the use of the peptide comes from a single group in Russia; nevertheless, this Russian group is highly regarded.
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[i] Khavinson, V. Kh. (2002). Peptides and aging. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 23 Suppl 3:11-144. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12374906/
[ii] Khavinson, V. Kh. 1, Bondarev, I.E., Butyugov, A.A. (2003) epithalon peptide induces telomerase activity and telomere elongation in human somatic cells. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2003 Jun;135(6):590-2. 10.1023/a:1025493705728.
[iii] Muñoz-Lorente, M.A., Cano-Martin, A.C. & Blasco, M.A. Mice with hyper-long telomeres show less metabolic aging and longer lifespans. Nat Commun 10, 4723 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019- 12664-x
[iv] Korkushko, O.V., Khavinson, V. Kh., Shatilo, AntonykSheglova, I.A. (2011) Peptide geroprotector from the pituitary gland inhibits rapid aging of elderly people: Results of 15-year follow-up. Bull Exp Biol Med 151 (3):343-347. 10.1007/s10517-011-1332-x
[v] Anisimov, V.N., Khavinson, V. Kh.,Alimova, I.N., Semchenko, A.V., Yashin, A.I. (2002). Epithalon decelerates aging and suppresses development of breast adenocarcinomas in transgenic her-2/neu mice, Bull Exp Biol Med 134(2):187-190. 10.1023/a:1021104819170
[vi] Korkushko, O.V., Lapin, B.A., Goncharova, N.D., Khavinson, V. Kh., Shatilo, V.B., Vengerin, A.A., et al. (2007). Normalizing effect of the pineal gland peptides on the daily melatonin rhythm in old monkeys and elderly people. Adv Gerontol. 20 (1):74-85. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17969590/
[vii] Korenevsky, A.V., Milyutina, Y.P., Bukalyov, A.V., Vinogradova, I.A., Arutjunyan, A.V. (2013). Protective effect of melatonin and epithalon on hypothalamic regulation of reproduction in female rats in the premature aging model and on estrous cycles in senescent animals in various lighting regimes. Adv Gerentol 26(2):263-274. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28976150/
[viii] Khavinson, V., Razumovsky, M., Trofimova, S., Grigorian, R., Razumovskaya, A. (2002). Pinealregulating tetrapeptide epitalon improves eye retina condition in retinitis pigmentosa. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 23(4):365-368. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12195242/
[ix] Khavinson, V., Diomede, F., Mironova, E., Linkova, N., Trofimova, S., Trubiani, O., Caputi, S., et al. (2020) AEDG peptide (epitalon) stimulates gene expression and protein synthesis during neurogenesis: possible epigenetic mechanism. Molecules 25(3):609 10.3390/molecules25030609