Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide (Rigin) Research
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide was originally developed as a potential immunostimulatory and neurotrophic (can regrow nervous tissue) peptide. It is still under active investigation for its ability to encourage nerve healing, particularly after burns and tissue grafts .
Recently, interest in Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide has increased among researchers involved in trying to understand how extracellular matrix (ECM) growth is modulated. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide is being investigated in animal models for its ability to influence collagen and elastin synthesis in the ECM and thus for its ability to improve skin elasticity and firmness .
What Is Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide?
The rigin peptide is a fragment of the IgG antibody found in many mammals (amino acids 341-344 of human IgG H-chain). It was originally developed after a different tetrapeptide, tuftsin, was discovered to have immunostimulatory and neurotrophic activities .
The way in which Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide is used can be confusing because sometimes the term “Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide” is used to refer only to a peptide and sometimes to the same peptide with palmitoyl attached. “Rigin peptide” may be a more accurate name for the IgG fragment alone, but the word rigin can legitimately refer to both entities, so take care when discussing. Rigin may also be referred to as palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 or simply as palmitoyl tetrapeptide.
What Does Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide Do?
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide, it turns out, is capable of modulating the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a signaling molecule made by T-cells. IL-6 recruits additional immune cells to the site of injury or infection. Sometimes, however, the immune response can become too large and may damage healthy tissue. In the case of skin, this can lead to damage to the ECM and thus breakdown of collagen and elastin. By counteracting the effects of IL-6, rigin is able to reduce the effects of an immune response and protect the skin from damage.
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide has also been shown, in animal models, to have activity against matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs are a group of enzymes involved in the breakdown of ECM proteins during normal tissue growth. By downregulating the activity of MMPs, rigin can reduce ECM damage and allow cells that restore and maintain the ECM to keep up with the effects of aging . The action of rigin is similar, in some ways, to dehydroepiandosterone, which is sometimes referred to as the “youth hormone.”
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide Research on Reducing Skin Damage?
Based on observations from animal research and from studies on human skin cells grown in a laboratory setting, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide can reduce the effects of aging on the skin. This means reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as evening out skin tone, improving elasticity, and increasing skin hydration. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide is often combined with other ingredients, such as palmitoyl oligopeptide, to create a synergistic effect that boosts skin rejuvenation .
1. Pubchem. Rigin | C18H32N8O6 - PubChem. Available at: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Rigin#section=Top. (Accessed: 29th July 2016)
2. Dutta, R. C., Puri, A. & Anand, N. Immunomodulatory potential of hydrophobic analogs of Rigin and their role in providing protection against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice. Int. Immunopharmacol. 1, 843–855 (2001).
3. Mondon, P. et al. Evaluation of dermal extracellular matrix and epidermal-dermal junction modifications using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometric imaging, in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy, echography, and histology: effect of age and peptide applications. J. Cosmet. Dermatol. 14, 152–160 (2015).
4. Sorsa, T., Tjäderhane, L. & Salo, T. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in oral diseases. Oral Dis. 10, 311–318 (2004).
5. Matrixyl 3000 (palmitoyl oligopeptide & palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7): Back to the future of skin care. Available at: http://www.smartskincare.com/treatments/topical/palmitoyl-oligopeptide-palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7-matrixyl-3000.html. (Accessed: 28th July 2016)