GHK is a tripeptide with the amino acid sequence glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine that forms a copper complex with itself (GHK-Cu). It has been shown to exhibit a wide range of health-promoting effects, such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and tissue regeneration. In addition, it has been shown to up- and down-regulate a large number of genes that are involved in a variety of pathways.
The peptide is a potent chemoattractant for mast cells and macrophages, and it stimulates their release of proteins that increase proliferation of fibroblasts, and promote the synthesis of collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans, and decorin, all of which are critical for tissue growth and healing. GHK-Cu also reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-a and IL-6.
When injected into mice, GHK-Cu significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines and prevented the development of airway obstructions, interstitial edema, and inflammation of alveoli, indicating that it is a potential agent for the treatment of ALI. It also increased the survival rate of mice infected with influenza A virus and prevented lung injury induced by LPS-stimulated macrophages.
Psychological stress delays epidermal barrier recovery, inhibits skin immune function, increases oxidative stress, and induces activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, it can decrease fibroblast migration and increase permeability of the skin. Studies have shown that ghk copper can reduce psychological stress and enhance the skin’s response to stress. It can also accelerate the healing of skin damage caused by ultraviolet irradiation and decrease erythema, which occurs due to excessive sun exposure.