The history of Melanotan, specifically Melanotan-1 or Afamelanotide, is actually very short and well documented. It was first developed and synthesized in a lab at the University of Arizona. Researchers created this synthetic analog that was designed to mimic a naturally occurring melanocortin peptide hormone in the body. They were working to discover how to use Melanotan in reducing UV (ultra violet) light damage to skin cells.
The researchers believed that using a synthetic version of the naturally occurring melanocortin peptide hormone would boost the ability of skin cells by increasing the presence of dark pigments in the skin. In deciding how to use Melanotan the researchers were able to reduce skin cell sensitivity to light, known as photosensitivity, that is seen in many different skin conditions.
The synthetic Melanotan-1 has an amino acid sequence of Ac-Ser-Tyr-Ser-Nle-Glu-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-Pro-Val-NH2. It can also be represented at [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH. It estimated by researchers that Melanotan is approximately 1000 times superior to the potency of naturally occurring melanocortin peptide hormones.
Longer Molecular Life
One of the amazing values that researchers found in studies with synthetic Melanotan is that these molecules can survive longer than the naturally occurring melanocortin peptide hormone. The naturally occurring hormone results in a stimulation of the production of melanocytes, which are dark pigment cells in the body. These melanocytes, in turn, actually produce the darker pigment which is known as melanin.
However, the short life of the naturally occurring substance meant that the pigment stimulation was not intense or of a significant enough duration to create sustainable pigment change in the cells. In determining how to use Melanotan it was noted that these synthetic cells had a significantly longer half-life, meaning that they were able to stimulate a higher rate of production of melanocytes and subsequently melanin.
Effect on Cells
In research studies and clinical trials with various mammals testing how to use Melanotan it was found that this synthetic molecule binds to the melanocytes in the skin cells. When this binding occurs the melanocytes produce more of the black and brown colored cells known and eumelanin. Black melanin is the darker of the two but both are darker, and offer significant protection from damaging UV light.
Research is ongoing in clinical trials as to how to use Melanotan. As more information comes forward with these research studies the importance of this discovery become more recognized for a variety of different purposes. Research is very promising with regards to how to use Melanotan in a variety of ways.
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