PT-141 is a synthetic peptide, researched for its viability for synthesis and to discover its mechanisms of action. The main function of this peptide has been suggested by initial research to act as a melanocortin agonist (composed of 7 amino acids). It is also a peptide that appears to imitate alpha-MSH, a hormone that naturally occurs in an organism. Also known as Bremelanotide, PT-141 is part of the same family that melanotan 2 belongs to. Besides the fact that PT-141 contains a hydroxyl group, both Melanotan 2 and PT-141 share the same structure. The primary objective of studying this compound is to see whether it can be used in the development of medicine.
PT-141 Mechanism of Action
Upon studying the mechanism of this peptide, researchers suggested that PT-141 Bremelanotide peptide may function by indiscriminately exciting the melanocortin MC 1, 3, 4, and 5 receptors – but it also apparently presents a high affinity to the melanocortin 4 receptor. For the MC receptors to activate, various biological processes are involved. Some of these processes include the following: suppression of appetite, sexual arousal, pain reception, and skin pigmentation. Scientists report the primary mechanism of the PT-141 Bremelanotide, however, directly presents itself in the body’s central nervous system (CNS).
The activation of these MC receptors has led researchers to hypothesize that the following reaction controls – and even inhibits – specific signals emitted to the body by the brain. These inhibited signals are linked to the body’s cardiovascular function and inflammatory response. This means that once the MC receptors shift, the brain moderates the signals relevant to these processes successfully.
The persistent research of PT-141 has presented it, through its results, as a potential treatment for erectile dysfunction and – ultimately – hyposexual disorder. Although those two are considered the primary effects of PT-141, the peptide has also prompted researchers to investigate it’s action in other areas of development. Bremelanotide has also been suggested to have an impact on skin complexion (a sun tanning effect), reception of pain, and appetite suppression.
The two primary proposed actions PT-141 may exhibit are sexual arousal and penile erection. One study has suggested the peptide may promote the craving for sexual behavior in female rats administered with the peptide. All of these rats exhibited sexually aroused behaviors – such as mounting, hopping, and alluring. This reaction appeared to be partly due to the elevated release of dopamine in the medial preoptic region of the brain – the area partly responsible for male and female sexual behavior in a variety of species.
Additionally, a 2008 clinical trial suggested PT-141 may present a significant, positive impact on pre and post-menopausal women’s sexual desire and satisfaction. In 2019 Bremelanotide was widely researched for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. HSDD can be described as having a depressed sexual desire, which then leads to difficulty and apparent distress in interpersonal relationships.
This condition, HSDD, doesn’t come from other medical conditions, relationship issues, or side effects of medications. It just develops, on its own, in those who have had no prior issues with sexual desire. Regarding penile erection, male rats that were given PT-141 in research settings appeared to exhibit regular, constant, and spontaneous penile erections. Scientists suggested this apparent exhibition was due to the CNS’s MC4 receptors that are associated with the regulation of erectile dysfunction, as well as sexual drive.
PT-141 Peptide Safety Profile
The most commonly reported adverse affects in research studies on PT-141 are flushing, nausea and vomiting, headache, and reactions at the administration site. However, results from other studies have presented the following as potential side effects:
- Stuffy nose
- Decreased heart rate and increased blood pressure
- Reactions at the injection site such as redness, itching, pain, bruising, tingling, or numbness
Research peptide PT-141 (Bremelanotide) is available strictly for laboratory and research use.
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Dr. Marinov (MD, Ph.D.) is a researcher and chief assistant professor in Preventative Medicine & Public Health. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Marinov practiced preventative, evidence-based medicine with an emphasis on Nutrition and Dietetics. He is widely published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and specializes in peptide therapy research.