It is a nootropic, anxiolytic peptide based drug developed by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Selank is a heptapeptide with the sequence Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg-Pro-Gly-Pro. It is a synthetic analogue of a human tetrapeptide tuftsin.
Selank is a synthetic analogue of the immunomodulatory peptide tuftsin; as such, it mimics many of its effects. It has been shown to modulate the expression of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and affect the balance of T helper cell cytokines.It has been shown to influence the concentration of monoamine neurotransmitters and induce metabolism of serotonin. There is evidence that it may also modulate the expression of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) in rats.
Selank,as well as a related peptide drug, semax,have been found to inhibit enzymes involved in the degradation ofenkephalins and other endogenous regulatory peptides, and this action may be involved in their effects.
In clinical trials, the drug has shown to provide a sustained nootropic and anxiolytic effect, which is useful for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Selank has an advantage over traditional anxiety treatments, such asbenzodiazepines, as it has no sedating or cognitive side effects and no associated addiction or withdrawal syndrome. Selank also has very low toxicity with an overdose proving harmless even up to 500 times the effective dose. When released, the drug will be used as a 0.15% aqueous solution which is applied to the nasal mucosa in drops. It is thought that this is the best method for absorbing peptide based drugs. The drug can be used to suppress feelings of fear and anxiety in people with anxiety disorders and to stimulate learning and memory in healthy people.
Selank is closely related to another nootropic drug, Semax, also developed by the Institute of Molecular Genetics in Russia. This drug is currently available in Russian and Ukrainian pharmacies.
As with all lipophilized peptides, it needs refrigeration to remain stable within sterile water solutions, such as bacteriostatic water concentrations.