Buy HCG Peptides for research only here. If you are new to this read our in-depth article about HCG peptides here. The hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, choriogonadotropin, or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a protein synthesized mainly by embryonic tissues. It is made up of 2 amino acid chains called alpha (α) and beta (β), non-covalently linked by a sulfhydryl bridge, which, if separated, lose their biological activity. All of this is, none of them have activity by themselves, but they recover it when they recombine. The α subunit is common to other hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), pituitary thyrotropin (TSH); while β is different from every other hormone and is what gives it specificity. Its molecular weight is calculated between 36,000 to 40,000.
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HCG secretion is related to the mass of trophoblastic tissue, being correlated with trophoblastic extension from 4 to 20 weeks and with weight from 20 to 28, in such a way that the rapid rise between 3 and 9 weeks of pregnancy it coincides with the proliferation of immature trophoblastic villi and an extensive syncytial layer. The decrease in the amount of trophoblastic tissue normally observed between 10-18 weeks is also associated with decreased serum hCG concentration. From the end of gestation, there is an increase in the hCG dimer proportional to the size of the placenta and the chorionic villi. This means its elevation is due to proliferation and placental invasion, while its decrease is due to the reduction of trophoblastic tissue or its transformation into a transfer organ.
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Serum and urine hCG concentrations vary substantially during pregnancy and between individuals; it is of little use in “dating” a pregnancy from the last day of the menstrual period. Its variations are considered the largest of any other hormone or of its metabolites in healthy individuals. Concentrations as low as 20 mIU / mL or as high as 8,900 mIU / mL have been reported in the fifth week of pregnancy, leading to normal term deliveries. In urine, the variations have been reported even larger, concentrations in the 5th. week from 22.8 mIU / mL to 41.95 mIU / mL. Among the explanations for these wide variations is the one that establishes that when a small amount of cellular receptor is activated, a response similar to when all of them are activated can occur, as a cause of limitations in the responses of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, protein kinase or cellular G protein; theory known as the “receptor sparing or sparing LH / hCG receptor phenomenon”.
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In 2011, Cole conducted an interesting study, in which he collected urine from the first void in 220 women who wanted to become pregnant and determined the presence of LH using a home-use kit. Urine samples were taken in non-gestational and gestational menstrual cycles and in pregnant women; 82 out of 98 volunteers who became pregnant and had regular deliveries successfully collected urine samples which continued until the 7th week of pregnancy. There were 120 clinical and 390 biochemical pregnancies, 20 of the former ended in spontaneous abortions in the 1st and 2nd trimesters and 2 ended in ectopic pregnancies. It showed that due to the fact of producing high or low concentrations in the week before implantation, that pregnancy will not make high or low concentrations of the hormone and that the true pregnancy occurs at the time of implantation, which is variable, between 16 to 32 days after the last menstrual period. It showed for the first time that the most significant variation in its levels is caused by placental differences and the rate of production over time.
HCG is considered a foreign glycoprotein, in which approximately 65% of its molecular weight corresponds to proteins or amino acids; It is sometimes compared to a polysaccharide, such as a collagen, due to its large carbohydrate component with 4 sugar side chains attached to asparagine and 7 to 14 of them attached to hCG, 2 in the α subunit and 2 in the β. It also has 4 side chains of sugars linked to serine with 3 to 6 carbohydrate residues, all in the β subunit. The combination of the 2 subunits and the 8 carbohydrate chains results in greater variability of the hCG structure. Free subunits and degraded molecular fractions of the hormone can be found in the serum and urine of pregnant women or trophoblastic diseases. The α subunits are located in the cytotrophoblast and not in the syncytial layer and it has been considered almost identical or identical to the α subunits of the pituitary glycoprotein hormones FSH, LH, and TSH (8) and the α subunit, it consists like them of 92 amino acids.
Different from that of anterior pituitary implants, who implanted pieces of placenta and decidua in immature rats had a positive response in 7 out of 12 cases, although they suggested the possibility that the placenta and decidua could have concentrated prolan from the bloodstream. However, as early as 1937 Aschheim maintained the pituitary origin of the prolan.
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Since then, it has been used as a diagnostic test for pregnancy, constituting the basis for modern pregnancy diagnostic tests; It consisted of injecting small amounts of urine from the presumed pregnant woman to prepubertal female rats, twice a day for 3 consecutive days, and sacrificing the animal 4 days later, where the presence of the yellow body was observed in the ovaries of the positive rats. In 1931 Friedman (cited by Velásquez modernized it, using 2-morning urine samples and injecting them into the ear vein of virgin rabbits that had been isolated from males, looking for the same changes in 48 hours after the first injection. In 1934 Shapiro (cited by Velásquez injected Xenopis Laveis frogs and in 1947, Wiltberger improved for the results in 2 hours after injecting the urine into the dorsal sac of male Pipiens frogs, to look under the microscope for the presence of spermatozoa in the water in which the rat jumped.
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A year later Carlos Galli Mainini observed how the urine of pregnant women injected into the dorsal lymphatic sac of Bufo Arenarium – toads typical of Argentina and Valle del Cauca – stimulated spermatogenesis under the Chorionic gonadotropin stimulus; with this test, positivity is obtained in the first week of menstrual absence and its execution was carried out in three hours. The Galli Mainini reaction or ” frog test ”is based on the discovery of the Argentine cytologist Eduardo de Robertis, who in 1942 demonstrated that hCG acted on Sertoli cells causing the expulsion of sperm in toads. This method, which is very inexpensive, was used massively for a long time in Argentina and Latin America, with little diffusion in Europe and the United States. The use of these tests, aroused the interest of Wide and Gemzell, to develop the first immunological test.
After the discovery of radioimmunoassay for the detection of hCG, its accuracy and popularity have made it recognized as a “ubiquitous” hormone since any tissue can synthesize it, to the point that it has been called by Yosimoto et al. “human cellular gonadotropic hormone.”
According to Odell and Griffin, it is present in normal men at average concentrations of 8.9 pg / mL, with a range of less than 3.0 to 160 pg / mL and a biological potency of 13,450 IU / mg, and in postmenopausal women on average 11 pg / mL with a range between 32-510. When GnRH was administered, there was pulsatile secretion, which presumes that its production is by the pituitary (28). Bogart et al., reported levels of 0.02-0.2 mIU / mL in premenopausal women, which in postmenopause reached up to 2.8; while in men the concentrations have been indicated in 0.02-0.8 mIU / mL.
The intention of this article is to review various aspects in which the presence of human chorionic gonadotropic hormone has been known, as well as the importance of its determinations, quantifications and clinical utility.
HCG producing sites
Several hCG production sites have been described, among them it is worth reaffirming that it can be found in: normal or neoplastic cells and teratocarcinomas, normal kidney, lung, stomach, liver and heart tissues , pituitary in postmenopausal women, normal testicular extracts, pituitary and urine from patients with Klinelfelter syndrome, dry liver extract, without cancer, lung, pancreas and colon carcinoma. It is also produced by choriocarcinomas not derived from pregnancy, as well as by the normal testis and ovaries.
In the past, methods were used that could not differentiate between LH and hCG; but with the techniques for the determination of the β subunit, similar substances have been detected in normal tissues of the pituitary, testes and upper gastrointestinal tract and high concentrations in fetal tissues of the ovaries, testes, kidney and thymus. Others have reported the presence of the hormone in breast tissue, digestive system (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, rectum), lungs, pigmented cells (melanomas), ovaries (adenocarzimoma), in testes: embryonic cell carcinoma, seminomas, choriocarcinomas, mixed nonspecific tumors. It is also usually detected in cases of exogenous administration of hCG subcutaneous or intramuscular.
A detailed review of its purification and chemical properties was published by Bahl.