What Is Selank?
Selank, which was developed in Russia, is a short peptide with nootropic and anxiolytic properties. It is a synthetic analogue of naturally occurring Tuftsin, an immunomodulatory peptide that modulates IL-6, T helper cells, monoamine neurotransmitters, and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). In fact, Selank and Tuftsin are essentially the same except that Selank has an additional four amino acids in its chain that help to improve metabolic stability and half-life.
Selank has been tested in clinical trials as a potential treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.
Selank and the Immune System in Anxiety
Research in patients with depression indicates that Selank can suppress the gene responsible for the production of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. Interestingly, this effect is only seen in patients with depression and does not appear to take place in healthy individuals. This suggests that Selank may be useful in treating people with anxiety-asthenic disorders, severe disorders in which anxiety is associated with fatigue, headache, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nerve pain, and depression.
When comparing Selank to standard anxiolytic treatments, like benzodiazepines, the two treatments show similar benefits in reducing anxiety, but only Selank has any effect on asthenic symptoms like fatigue and pain. Part of the effect is likely due to Selank’s ability to modulated IL-6 expression while part is likely due to the peptide’s ability to alter the rate of breakdown of the body’s natural pain killers, enkephalins.
Testing of Selank in rats has revealed that the peptide regulates the expression of some 34 genes involved in the inflammatory process. These genes affect chemokines, cytokines, and receptors for both. In particular, Selank has been found to alter expression of BcI6, a gene that is heavily involved in the development of the immune system. This study, more than any other, revealed that Selank has very complex biological effects, but may help to deepen our understanding of how the immune system develops.
Selank and even fragments of Selank have been shown to temporarily alter gene expression for C3, CAsp1, Il2rf, and Xcr1 in the mouse spleen. By affecting these genes, Selank is able to alter the balance of the immune system and thereby modulate inflammation.
Selank Research with Memory and Learning
There has long been an association between anxiety and learning/memory. The correlation is a negative one, with increased anxiety leading to decreased ability to recall memories or store new information. Traditional anxiety treatments can reduce this effect, as can Selank, but Selank appears to do more than simply reduce the impact of anxiety on cognitive function. There is good reason to believe that Selank actually boosts cognition directly.
Research in rats trains with food rewards and injected with either saline or Selank has shown that Selank boosts memory trace stability and thus enhances the memory storage process. It is important to note that this benefit was seen regardless of the anxiety levels of the rats, indicating that the peptide has effects beyond its ability to simply reduce stress-related impairment of memory.
It appears that Selank may alter memory by affecting the expression of a number of genes in the hippocampus. Research in rats shows changes in mRNA levels of 36 different genes after intranasal administration of Selank. Most of the genes encode proteins associated with the plasma membrane and may therefore modulate ion-dependent processes in learning and memory. Though much research needs to be done to understand the mechanism by which Selank works to improve memory and learning, this research offers a tantalizing early clue to suggest that it alters the way neurons function in such a way that both forming and accessing memories is easier.
Research even suggests that Selank can help to rescue memory and learning following damage to the brain. Rats treated with a neurotoxin and then Selank showed restored cognitive processes in at least one study. This effect appears to be related to an artificial inhibition of the catecholamine system in the brain by Selank. There is some hope that Selank will help to shed light on how cognitive function can be restored or at least improved following traumatic brain injury, particularly the kinds of injury that occurring during the birth process.
Selank Research and Pain
Selank may act to reduce the degradation of natural enkephalins by inhibiting the enzymes, found in human blood, that break them down. Enkephalins are natural peptides that bind to opioid receptors and help to blunt the severity of pain. They also function in the human stress response and are found in high levels in the brain and adrenal glands. By reducing levels of enkephalins in the brain, Selank may help to blunt the normal stress response and the effects that it has on memory, learning, and concentration.
Selank exhibits minimal side effects, low oral and excellent subcutaneous bioavailability in mice. Per kg dosage in mice does not scale to humans. Selank for sale at Peptide Sciences is limited to educational and scientific research only, not for human consumption. Only buy Selank if you are a licensed researcher.