KPV is a tripeptide (Lysine-Proline-Valine) which possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a C-terminal tripeptide of α-MSH (alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone). Peptides like KPV often act as hormones and relay information from one tissue through the blood to another via biologic messengers. Whether given orally or in the form of injections, the KPV tripeptide has the potential to treat immune-mediated inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis, bowel diseases, allergic asthma, and arthritis.

Overall Health Benefits of KPV

  • Treats a wide array of inflammatory conditions [1-17]
  • Improves skin health [18-32]
  • Strengthens the immune system [33-59]
  • Protects against nerve damage [60-81]
  • Protects against stroke [82-97]

Proven Health Benefits of KPV

Treats a Wide Array of Inflammatory Conditions

An overwhelming body of clinical evidence suggests that KPV exerts its strong anti-inflammatory properties through various important mechanisms:

  1. In mice model of colitis (colon inflammation), oral administration of KPV (added to drinking water) inhibited the activation of NF-κB and MAP kinase inflammatory signaling pathways and reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. [1]
  2. A 2001 study published in Biochem Pharmacology found that KPV exerts its anti-inflammatory activities through inhibition of NF-kappaB translocation and activation of MC(1) receptor/cAMP. [2-3]
  3. In animal model of colitis, KPV significantly reduced intestinal inflammation. [4-5]
  4. As a C-terminal tripeptide of α-MSH, KPV fights inflammation by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-α stimulated NF-κB activity and suppressing antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation. [6-7]
  5. A study published in the Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that KPV suppresses inflammation through modulation of physiological responses in host defense. [8]
  6. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that KPV exhibits its anti-inflammatory effect through inhibition of IL-1beta functions. [9]
  7. A 2006 study published in the Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology found that KPV fights inflammation by stimulating cAMP generation in a concentration dependent way. [10]
  8. One study found that KPV combats inflammation by significantly inhibiting NF-kappaB-luciferase activity. [11]
  9. A 2010 study published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology reported that KPV has significant similarities between anti-inflammatory signaling of α-MSH. [12]
  10. Several studies have shown a significant reduction of pro‐inflammatory substances such as IL1 β, IL6, TNFα, IL8, Groα and interferon γ (IFNγ) following KPV treatment. [13-14]
  11. A cell study found that KPV produced antibody against the inflammatory IL10. [15]
  12. Studies also show that KPV reduces inflammation through inhibition of inflammatory cell adhesion and transmigration. [16-17]

Improves Skin Health

Evidence suggests that KPV has the potential to treat unpleasant skin conditions:

  1. In mice with experimental contact dermatitis, KPV suppressed the skin inflammatory response. [18-21]
  2. In human subjects, application of KPV cream reduced nickel‐induced contact eczema. [22]
  3. KPV also suppresses antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation in humans, resulting in healthier and smoother skin. [23]
  4. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that KPV acts as a natural anti-allergic basophil-response modifier. [24]
  5. A study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research reported that KPV regulates interleukin-10 production by human keratinocytes (skin cells), a mechanism that prevents skin inflammation. [25]
  6. In mice, application of KPV on the skin suppressed contact hypersensitivity responses. [26]
  7. Several studies also found that KPV is capable of suppressing the production of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) induced by pro-inflammatory stimuli such as TNF-α, IFN-γ, or LPS in the skin. [27-32]

Strengthens the Immune System

Aside from its potent anti-inflammatory properties, studies show that KPV may help boost the immune function by positively affecting the production of immune system cells and other mechanisms:

  1. As a C-terminal tripeptide of α-MSH, studies found that KPV has potent antipyretic activity (lowers body temperature) in experimental fever. [33-42]
  2. Studies show that KPV prevents fever by targeting the hypothalamus, the brain region that controls temperature, and by reducing pyrogens (substances that cause fever). [43-49]
  3. A 2007 study published in Gene Therapy found that KPV treatment was associated with high frequency of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. [50]
  4. In rats, KPV injections twice daily significantly reduced the clinical and histological signs of adjuvant-induced arthritis. [51]
  5. In animal models of human autoimmune inflammatory eye diseases such as uveitis or retinitis, KPV significantly reduced symptoms and inflammatory substances. [52-56]
  6. In animal model of experimentally induced acute pancreatitis, KPV treatment reduced pancreas islet cell apoptosis (programmed cell death. [57-59]

Protects Against Nerve Damage

As a C-terminal tripeptide of α-MSH, KPV exerts protective effects against various forms of nerve damage, suggesting that it can help combat the effect of aging and other medical conditions on nerve health:

  1. In neonatal rats with nerve injury, KPV effectively induced sciatic nerve regeneration. [60-61]
  2. A cell study found that KPV stimulated growth of the long threadlike part of a nerve cell called axon. [62]
  3. In a rat model of spinal cord injury, application of α-MSH cream shortly after trauma in high does induced nerve protection. [63]
  4. In cultured rat brain cells, treatment with 10 nM α-MSH protected against cisplatin-induced neurotoxicity. [64-65]
  5. A cell study also found that α-MSH protects against nerve damage by blocking signals involved in programmed cell death. [66-67]
  6. Studies found that α-MSH protects nerve cells against ultraviolet radiation-induced apoptosis and DNA damage. [68-71]
  7. Studies show that α-MSH may help protect nerve cells through its anti-scarring properties. [72-75]
  8. In rats, local delivery of α-MSH can increase postlesional repair of nerve. [76-77]
  9. Rat studies also show that α-MSH treatment can significantly improve neurological and electrophysiological function of damaged spinal cord. [78-81]

Protects Against Stroke

Because KPV and α-MSH share similar properties, they may exert the same beneficial effects. There’s increasing evidence that supports that these peptides may be a therapeutic option in stroke:

  1. α-MSH (1 mg/kg) was shown to improve the recovery of animals with stroke especially when given before and during the 20-minute ischemia (reduced blood flow to the brain). [82]
  2. When given before the start of the ischemia and again 1 hour after reperfusion (restoration of blood flow), α-MSH prevents further occlusion and inflammation of the artery. [83]
  3. Several studies suggest that α-MSH exerts its protective mechanism against ischemic brain damage by reducing the brain levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. [84-88]
  4. A 2003 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology reported that subcutaneous injection of α-MSH appears to significantly reduce the size of infarct (dead tissue caused by reduced blood flow). [89]
  5. Several studies also found that α-MSH protects against heart and kidney problems associated with stroke. [90-97]


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