Epithalamin and Free Radicals in Drosophila Melanogaster Flies


The pineal peptide preparation Epithalamin is known to increase melatonin production by pineal gland explants, to increase in vitro growth of the explants, to exhibit anticarcinogenic effects in a variety of models, to stimulate antioxidant defenses and to restore reproductive function in old rats. It also increases the longevity of both rodents and Drosophila melanogaster flies. The present study was intended to test the hypothesis that epithalamin also affects free radical processes and that this effect correlates with its geroprotective actions in flies. Exposure to epithalamin significantly decreased CHP and KD contents in the tissues of D.melanogaster flies and increased the level of catalase in females and SOD activity in males. It was demonstrated that exposure to melatonin did not influence the contents of conjugated hydroperoxides and ketodienes in flies’ tissues. It was shown that epithalamin increases mean, median and maximum life spans of D.melanogaster flies by 17%, 26% and 2.12 times, respectively and that this increase directly correlates with the prolongation of MLS.

The peptide, which is only four amino acids long (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly), was extracted from the pineal gland of calves. It was then altered to create a synthetic version that is now called epitalon and is used for its anti-aging properties. The peptide is also believed to be the key to maintaining a healthy metabolism. It increases the body’s production of telomerase, an enzyme that helps repair DNA damage and create new cells. It also lowers glucose and insulin levels, which is important for people with diabetes. A study conducted in rhesus monkeys also found that epitalon was effective at improving elevated insulin and low melatonin levels common in older primates.


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