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NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY LETTERS
including Psychoneuroimmunology, Neuro
psychopharmacology,
Reproductive Medicine, Chronobiology
and Human Ethology
ISSN 0172–780X

NEL Vol.23 No.4, August 2002

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Epitalon in Retinitis Pigmentosa

Related articles:
1. Khavinson 'Peptides and Ageing'
2. Soucek '
Treatment of macular degeneration'

2002; 23:365368
pii: NEL230402A11
PMID: 12195242

Free full text online pdf [145 kb]
purchace & print HERE


Pineal-regulating tetrapeptide epitalon improves eye retina condition in retinitis pigmentosa

Vladimir Khavinson, Michael Razumovsky, Svetlana Trofimova, Roman Grigorian & Anna Razumovskaya

St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology of the North-Western Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Russia.

Key words:
peptide Epitalon; pineal gland; Retinitis Pigmentosa; Campbell rats; human patients

Submitted: June 5, 2002
Accepted: June 14, 2002

ABSTRACT

We have studied the effect of tetrapeptide Epitalon (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly) on the course of congenital pigmented degeneration of the retina. The application of Epitalon in Campbell rats is found to intensify the bioelectric and functional activity of the retina due to the preservation of its morphological structure. Epitalon therapy in patients with degenerative retinal lesions results in a positive clinical effect in 90% of the cases. The analysis of Epitalon effects suggests that the tetrapeptide participates in the mechanisms of transcription common for the epiphysis and retina.

Introduction

Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa is a topical and socially relevant problem. Degenerative processes of the retina are known to result from disturbed metabolism of specific proteins in the pigmented epithelium and other retinal layers [1, 2].
In this connection, it appears crucial to develop and study pharmaceuticals, which can influence the structural and functional specialisation of retinal cells and, thus, provide a pathogenetic treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Peptides of tissue-specific effect seem to be the most promising physiologically active substances. One of such compounds is tetrapeptide Epitalon (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly) obtained by targeted chemical synthesis [3]. This peptide has been designed on the basis of the amino acid analysis of a complex pharmaceutical isolated from the retina of animals (Retinalamin). Retinalamin is included in the State Pharmacopoeia of the Russian Federation [4]. To synthesise this peptide we have used four amino acids detected in Retinalamin at the highest concentrations. It must be emphasised that the compositions of synthetic peptides designed according to the amino acid analyses of pharmaceuticals from the epiphysis (Epithalamin) and retina (Retinalamin) are identical. This identity can be explained by the common embryological origin of the epiphysis and eye retina, i.e., from the same progenitor cells of the anterior neural plate [5]. Moreover, pinealocytes and photoreceptor cells demonstrate a considerable similarity at the molecular level, in particular, in their transcription patterns [6, 7, 8]. These facts suggest that Epitalon can restore retinal function, as well as the function of the pineal gland. Therefore, the purpose of our experimental and clinical investigations is to study the effect of Epitalon on the course of congenital pigmented retinal degeneration.

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