GHRP-6 – An Orexigenic and Highly Selective Somatotrophic Releasing Factor

ghrp 6

GHRP-6 is a synthetic analogue of the naturally occurring ghrelin. It is one of a small number of peptide secretagogues developed in the last few decades to stimulate Growth Hormone (GH) release from the pituitary gland. Like ghrelin, GHRP-6 acts at the hypothalamus and pituitary to encourage the release of GH by decreasing the action of the inhibitory hormone somatostatin and increasing cAMP formation. Its effectiveness in stimulating GH secretion makes it a potent and highly selective somatotrophic releasing factor, as well as an anabolic agent.

In addition to its orexigenic action, GHRP-6 increases the levels of circulating ghrelin in goldfish, increases pituitary GH secretion in gilthead seabream juveniles and stimulates growth rate and hepatic IGF-i expression in freshwater fish species. GHRP-6 also has anti-inflammatory properties, suppresses oxidative stress and prevents epithelial damage in animal models of water immersion restraint (WRS) and other stresses.

Research in porcine cardiac models of ischemia/reperfusion shows that GHRP-6 prevents the loss of cellular viability as assessed by echocardiographic ejection fraction (%EF). This is important because if the heart fails to function adequately, patients may die. GHRP-6 also protects against oxidant cytotoxicity and apoptosis in ischemic heart tissues. This provides hope that the peptide can be administered after a heart attack to prevent death and improve long-term survival and functional recovery. This is the aim of both our prevention and regression protocols in which GHRP-6 is combined with chemotherapy agents to improve clinical outcomes.


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