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Selank (Russian: Cеланк) is a nootropic, anxiolytic peptide based drug developed by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Selank is a heptapeptide with the sequence Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg-Pro-Gly-Pro. It is a synthetic analogue of a human tetrapeptide tuftsin.
Selank is a synthetic analogue of the immunomodulatory peptide tuftsin; as such, it mimics many of its effects. It has been shown to modulate the expression of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and affect the balance of T helper cell cytokines. It has been shown to influence the concentration of monoamine neurotransmitters and induce metabolism of serotonin. Selank has also been found to rapidly elevate the expression of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus of rats.
Selank, as well as a related peptide drug, Semax, have been found to inhibit enzymes involved in the degradation of enkephalins and other endogenous regulatory peptides, and this action may be involved in their effects.
In clinical trials, the drug has shown to provide a sustained nootropic and anxiolytic effect, which is useful for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Selank has an advantage over traditional anxiety treatments, such as benzodiazepines, as it has no sedating or cognitive side effects and no associated addiction or withdrawal syndrome. Selank also has very low toxicity with an overdose proving harmless even up to 500 times the effective dose.
As of 2010, the drug has completed stage III clinical trials in Russia and is currently waiting to be authorized for general use in that region. It is unknown if the drug will be marketed in the West or other world regions at this stage.
As with all lipophilized peptides, it needs refrigeration to remain stable within sterile water solutions, such as bacteriostatic water concentrations.
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- Semenova, T. P.; Kozlovskiĭ, I. I.; Zakharova, N. M.; Kozlovskaia, M. M. (2009). "Comparison of the effects of selank and tuftsin on the metabolism of serotonin in the brain of rats pretreated with PCPA". Eksperimental'naia i klinicheskaia farmakologiia 72 (4): 6–8. PMID 19803361.
- Inozemtseva, LS; Karpenko, EA; Dolotov, OV; Levitskaya, NG; Kamensky, AA; Andreeva, LA; Grivennikov, IA (2008). "Intranasal administration of the peptide Selank regulates BDNF expression in the rat hippocampus in vivo". Doklady biological sciences : proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Biological sciences sections / translated from Russian 421: 241–3. PMID 18841804.
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- Institute of Molecular Genetics: Translation of