Biological activities of the natural imidazole-containing peptidomimetics n-acetylcarnosine, carcinine and L-carnosine in ophthalmic and skin care products

Life Sci. 2006 Apr 11;78(20):2343-57. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.09.054. Epub 2006 Jan 4.


Apart from genetically programmed cell aging, different external aggressors related to oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation (LPO) can accelerate the skin aging phenomenon. Oxidative stress associated with the formation of lipid peroxides is suggested to contribute to pathological processes in aging and systemic diseases known as the risk factors for cataract. Despite the fact that L-carnosine-related peptidomimetics N-acetylcarnosine (N-acetyl-beta-alanyl-L-histidine) (NAC) and carcinine (beta-alanylhistamine) are metabolically related to L-carnosine and have been demonstrated to occur in tissues of many vertebrates, including humans, these compounds were shown resistant toward enzymatic hydrolysis. A series of related biocompatible imidazole-containing peptidomimetics were synthesized in order to confer resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis and ex vivo improvement of protective antioxidative properties related to L-carnosine. The included findings revealed a greater role of N-acetylcarnosine (NAC) and carcinine ex vivo in the prolongation and potentiation of physiological responses to the therapeutical and cosmetics treatments with L-carnosine as antioxidant. 3-D molecular conformation studies proposed the antioxidant activity of peptidomimetics (carcinine, L-prolylhistamine, N-acetylcarnosine, L-carnosine) for metal ion binding, quenching of a number free radicals, and binding of hydroperoxide or aldehyde (including dialdehyde LPO products) in an imidazole-peroxide adducts. NAC can act as a time release (carrier) stable version of L-carnosine during application in ophthalmic pharmaceutical and cosmetics formulations which include lubricants. Carcinine, L-prolylhistamine show efficient deactivation of lipid hydroperoxides monitored by HPLC and protection of membrane phospholipids and water soluble proteins from the lipid peroxides-induced damages. This activity is superior over the lipophilic antioxidant vitamin E. The biologically significant applications of carnosine mimetics were patented by Dr. Babizhayev and the alliance Groups (WO 2004/028536 A1; WO 94/19325; WO 95/12581; WO 2004/064866 A1).

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism
  • Carnosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Carnosine / pharmacology
  • Chinchilla
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Microsomes / drug effects
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Peroxides / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Skin Aging / drug effects
  • Skin Care*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Aldehydes
  • Imidazoles
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Peroxides
  • Phospholipids
  • N-acetylcarnosine
  • Carnosine
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • carcinine