Growth factors are small molecules of the peptide origin which can have an influence on the DNA synthesis. And at the same time, on the division, growth, differentiation and activity of cells.
For the organism to function normally, reliable regulation of all the above processes is absolutely necessary. Any failure in this system sooner or later leads to disease.
The action of growth factors is very specific. The matter is that a specific growth factor “cooperates” exclusively with a certain type of cells. For example, fibroblast growth factor stimulates only the fibroblast differentiation and activity. And endothelial growth factor affects exclusively the formation and development of capillaries.
Previously, it was believed that the role of growth factors was limited to the activation and stimulation of the division of target cells. Today, we know about a much wider range of properties of these compounds. Thus, growth factors are able to:
- stimulate cell division
- inhibit cell division
- stimulate the development and maturation of cells
- activate cell activity
- increase cell motility
In general, the physiological influence of growth factors come down to:
- optimization of regeneration processes
- inhibiting the development of pathological forms of regeneration. Such as fibrosis, scarring, cirrhosis.
- restoration of functioning of organs and systems
- supporting the activity of the body’s protective forces
- increasing the resistance of cells to adverse damaging factors
- normalization of metabolism by adjusting the activity of the enzyme apparatus
- reducing the rates of self-destruction of cells
In modern medicine, growth factors are used to treat a large number of diseases, such as: neutropenia, aplastic anemia, myelodysplasia, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
The amount of growth factors in the organism is very small and is measured in pictograms and nanograms. At the same time, a very interesting pattern is observed – the younger a person is, the more growth factors they have. Which means that during life, the concentration of these biologically active molecules constantly decreases. There are very few of them in old age. As a result, damage accumulates in cells, regeneration slows down, and signs of aging and disease appear.
That is why placenta preparations and regulatory polypeptides take a very important place in the antiaging therapy.
The successful experience of using growth factors in medicine inspired scientists to develop cosmetic preparations based on them. It has been proven that the activation of fibroblasts to the previous level contributes to the restoration of elasticity and elasticity of the skin.
Today, the use of growth factors in restorative medicine, gerontology and cosmetology is considered the most promising.