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Neuroreport. 1999 Jan 18;10(1):161-4.

Neuroprotective effects of Gly-Pro-Glu, the N-terminal tripeptide of IGF-1, in the hippocampus in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) plays a critical role in CNS development. IGF-1 can block neuronal apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. IGF-1 is thought to be cleaved into des-N-(1-3)-IGF-1 and an amino terminal glycine-proline-glutamate (GPE tripeptide). Here we report a neuroprotective role for GPE tripeptide, with enhanced survival of the CA1-2 hippocampal neurons following an excitotoxic insult in vitro. Binding and displacement studies suggest uniquely distributed sites of action within the rat including the hippocampal CA1-2, pyriform cortex, amygdala, choroid plexus, blood vessels and to a lesser extent in the cortical regions. A similar pattern of binding was seen in the human. This finding could lead to new strategies to reduce neuronal death after injury and in disease.

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