What is KPV?
KPV (lysine-proline-valine) is the C-terminal end of a more prominent melanocortin peptide hormone called alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), produced naturally in the body. A melanocortin receptor agonist, α-MSH, is synthesized in the pituitary gland of most vertebrates and is responsible for regulating energy balance. Alpha-MSH and derivatives like Melanotan 2 are used in various contexts, including sunless tanning, sexual disorders, and sleep enhancement. Studies have also demonstrated α-MSH’s immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory effects. KPV peptide’s anti-inflammatory effects are particularly notable because it directly influences processes inside the cell. The small molecular size of KPV and α‐MSH allows them to enter the cell and interact with inflammatory signalling molecules. Specifically, they regulate inflammatory responses such as NF-κB activation, the proliferation of T-cells, expression of adhesion molecules, inflammatory cytokines, chemokine receptors, and inflammatory cell migration.
Researchers have proposed KPV and α-MSH as suitable treatments for inflammatory skin and bowel disease, fibrosis, allergic and inflammatory pulmonary disease, inflammation of the eyes, and arthritis.
KPV vs α-MSH: How are the two different?
There are a few key differences to note between KPV and α-MSH. First, KPV has been found to exert more pronounced anti-inflammatory activity than full-length α-MSH. Also, KPV does not produce the pigmentary effects commonly associated with α-MSH, thus making it a more viable alternative for inflammatory treatment.
Another critical difference between KPV and alpha-MSH was outlined in a 2003 study conducted on a model of crystal-induced peritonitis. In vitro macrophage activation was inhibited by alpha-MSH and MTII but not by KPV.
Unlike most peptides, a KPV dose may be administered not just via injection but also orally in tablet and spray form or topically as a cream.
While human trials involving KPV are still limited, existing data have shown that this peptide has at least three notable health-boosting effects: (i) antimicrobial effects against pathogens, (ii) inflammation reduction, and (iii) accelerated wound healing, especially in contexts of burns and skin damage.
One animal study involved KPV being administered to mice with ulcerative colitis. KPV significantly decreases inflammation in the colon by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine (molecule) synthesis and secretion .
KPV reduces inflammation
In addition, KPV has been reported to suppress inflammation in bronchial epithelial cells by causing a dose-dependent inhibition of NFκB, IL8, and other inflammatory molecules .
KPV accelerates wound healing
Studies have noted that KPV’s wound healing properties attenuate and even eliminate blisters, cracks or crevices. Researchers observed the upregulation of a-MSH and its receptor in murine cutaneous wound healing, human burn wounds, and hypertrophic scars .
KPV’s antimicrobial effects have been demonstrated on two major pathogens called S. aureus and C. Albicans. In one study, KPV significantly inhibited S. aureus from forming colonies .
An animal study on six mice found that intraperitoneal injections of α-MSH reduced the number of leucocytes, mast cells, and fibroblasts at three and seven days after incurring a skin wound. On days 40 and 60, α-MSH caused the scar area of the injury to diminish and improve the organization of collagen fibres. These findings indicate that α-MSH and KPV may be viable alternatives to heal wounds without causing scar tissue .
Yet another study was conducted to analyze the effects of KPV on corneal epithelial wound healing in rabbits. For four days, rabbits were treated with KPV 1, 5 or 10 mg/ml (30 micros), two daily drops. Within sixty hours, the corneas of all subjects treated with KPV were completely re-epithelized, while none in the placebo group showed signs of healing .
KPV promotes colon health
Mice given alpha-MSH showed markedly lower production of TNF alpha by tissues of the lower colon stimulated with concanavalin A; the inhibitory effect of alpha-MSH on the production of inflammatory nitric oxide by softer bowel tissue was even more significant .
Oral administration of HA-KPV NPs in a mouse model exhibited a much stronger capacity to prevent mucosa damage and accelerate mucosal healing .
KPV Dosage Protocol
For reference purposes, here is a sample KPV protocol that researchers may administer to subjects to observe the effects of reduced inflammation, as well as accelerated healing of wounds and skin irritation:
- Daily Dosage: 200-400mcg via subcutaneous injection.
- Frequency: Daily.
- Duration: Administer until the desired outcome is achieved.
- Notes: Discontinue administration if skin irritation occurs or worsens. One 2mg vial of KPV suffices for up to a 5-10 day course following this protocol, depending on your daily dosage.