Sermorelin injection is one of a handful of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) analogues that have been developed in recent years in an effort to preserve some of the positive effects of natural GHRH while avoiding undesirable effects. Sermorelin injection (Geref) is currently used clinically to assess growth hormone secretion, but the peptide is of additional interest for its abilities to:
- reduce scarring following heart attack,
- increase bone density,
- improve nutrition in chronic illness,
- improve renal function,
- fight the effects of dementia, and
- reduce seizure activity.
Molecular Formula: C149H246N44O42S
Molecular Weight: 3357.933 g/mol
PubChem CID: 16129620
1. Sermorelin injection and Heart Health
Heart attack, while acutely life-threatening, can also lead to long-term disability secondary to heart failure, cardiac conduction abnormalities (arrhythmias), reduced exercise capacity, pain, and more. A number of these problems result from cardiac remodeling that follows damage to myocytes (heart muscle cells). Often, cardiac remodeling leads not only to scarring in the area of damage following a heart attack, but in surrounding, undamaged areas as well. This remodeling causes a number of long-term problems and research has shown that preventing it from happening can significantly improve outcomes both immediately after a heart attack and years down the line.
In 2016, a study in pigs revealed that sermorelin administration is effective in reducing the remodeling that follows a heart attack. The research showed that sermorelin:
- reduces cell death in cardiomyocytes,
- increases the production of extracellular matrix components needed for adequate healing,
- increases the growth of blood vessels to damaged tissue, and
- reduces the production of substances that causes damaging inflammation.
Clinically, sermorelin’s effects are seen in improved diastolic function, reduced scar size, and increased capillary growth. There is current research exploring the benefits of sermorelin in other forms of heart disease, such as heart failure and even valve disorders.
GHRH treatment reduces scar mass. A. Shows graph of percent change in scar mass over time on top and the relationship between the percent change in scar mass as a percentage of left ventricular mass. B. Shows images of the heart before and after 4 weeks of sermorelin treatment or placebo.
Sermorelin injection and Epilepsy
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a central nervous system signaling molecule known to reduce electrical activity in the spinal cord and reduce overall electrical excitability in the central nervous system. A number of anti-seizure medications work either by increasing levels of GABA in the central nervous system or by binding to GABA receptors and mimicking the effects of GABA. In a recent study of mice with epilepsy, scientists administered GHRH analogues, like sermorelin, to test the effect of these peptides on seizure activity. It turns out that GHRH analogues are effective in suppressing seizures by activating GABA receptors. This is a very new finding and an active area of research as medications for treating seizure conditions, while effective, have a range of detrimental side effects that reduce their clinical use.
Sermorelin injection and Sleep
There is good evidence that sleep cycles are regulated by orexin, a potent neurochemical produced by certain neurons in the brain. It is also well understood that growth and healing, which are strongly associated with growth hormone secretion, primarily take place during sleep. Research in rainbow trout suggests that this is no coincidence, with an intact GHRH axis being a necessary component for proper orexin secretion and function. In addition, the research reveals that exogenous administration of sermorelin and other GHRH agonists can boost orexin secretion. There is ongoing research into the benefits of using sermorelin in sleep disorders.