The mechanism and function of acetyl tetrapeptide-2 in human skin


Today, many attempts have been made to reduce or stop the aging effect on the skin. As the skin ages, wrinkles, lines, brown spots, grayish skin and puffiness are formed. The skin is composed of connective tissues. The skin also contains different cell types such as keratinocytes, melanocytes, fibroplast and Langerhans. The connective tissues are rich in extra cellular matrices (ECM) that are composed of four major groups including two fibrous molecules such as collagen and elastin and two glycoconjugates including glycoproteins and glycans.

Keratinocytes have the ability to glue together the dermis to the epidermis. From the age of about thirty, our keratinocytes start losing their ability to stick to the dermo- epidermal junction. The degradation of keratinocytes leads to a weakening of this characteristic. This is one of the factors that communications between the dermis and epidermis do not function optimally. As a result, the skin looses its firmness and become grayish since the cells lose contact with blood capillaries that nourish them. Therefore, age factors and sun exposure are slowing down the renewal effectiveness of keratinocytes that leads to a degradation of the skin appearance. It was surprisingly discovered that peptides act directly on the keratinocytes.

The studies and mechanism of acetyl tetrapeptide-2

Acetyl tetrapeptide-2, also called Thymulen 4, is a biomimetic of the cell maturation factors produced by the thymus. Oxytosine acts topically on the keratinocytes, inducing endocellular synthesis of paracrine and autocrone mediators. Oxytosine then stimulates the production of GM-CSF (Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor) by the keratinocytes. This cytokine stimulates not only keratinocytes renewal but also Langerhans cell maturation and improves the epidermis profile and stimulates the skin immune system. It boosts the skin's own defenses and helps regenerate the epidermis. Some studies indicate that an effective composition of acetyl tetrapeptide-2 at a concentration of 0.01 mg/ml of serilesine and a solution of synthetic hexa-peptide from laminin at a concentration of 0.05 mg/ml is blended into a cream to repair age degradation of the skin. Serilesine is included in laminin amino acids that are used for building cells. The acetyltetrapeptide-2 regulates the cytokine hormone secretion so that the cell building is indirectly affected by affecting the hormones of the cell.


1. Zhang, L., & Falla, T. J. (2009). Cosmeceuticals and peptides. Clinics in dermatology, 27(5), 485-494.

2. Dupont, E., Léveillé, C., Gomez, J., Loigeret, M., Loing, E., & Bilodeau, D. (2012). Clinical efficacy of a serum integrating multiple cosmetic ingredients in the management of erythema of the face in aging skin. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 11(3), 207-212.

3. Alexiades-Armenakas, M. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,529,925. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

4. Sallander, L. (2010). U.S. Patent Application No. 12/444,686.

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